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BRONXGIRL'S MOTHER, HENRY FONDA'S HIRSUTENESS, ETC.


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Yay! You've dipped your toe back into Mediterranean waters. I thought of you when Fox Movie Channel started showing On the Riviera. All the obligatory shots of water-skiers and happy bathers made me long for my youth when I might have actually done something about it. Oh Well. C'est la vie is about all an old man can muster. Not sure how you feel about Danny Kaye. I'm take-him-or-leave-him but when he's good he's damn good. I picture him with the old trope of the angel and the devil on his shoulders, with the angel whispering in his ear: "Cool it, Danny. Movie audiences don't respond to overkill." and the devil saying: "Go for it, Danny. You be you."

Here comes the Hackmark Christmas fare, all maskless and ready for our mindless consumption. Really looking forward to Christmas in Vienna. Which Canadian metropolis will be standing in, I wonder? Banff? And is that a Bank of Canada in the background, partially obscured by twinkle lights?

Seriously, hope all is well (or at least better) with you in Florida, as well as in the far-flung lairs of your many followers.

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Hey, Dougie!

My thoughts on Danny Kaye is that a little of him goes a long, long way, lol.   Your devil/angel trope is so on point in this regard.   Re: ON THE RIVIERA (I long for that 1950's Cote d'Azur atmosphere), he's subtle and sophisticated singing "Balling The Jack" and then we get "Popo the Puppet".   Although, whether we like it or not, that was the uniqueness of Kaye -- he appealed to both adults and children.

Oh, God, Hackmark....I passed over Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Sweater but checked out Christmas with the Darlings.  Would you believe (said in Don Adams' voice) I counted how many times the characters actually said the word "Christmas"?  Get ready -- it was 100.  Not even kidding.  What is it about subtlety that this channel doesn't understand?  I just don't get it, to put it mildly.   I might check out Christmas in Banff, lol.   I do love the unfettered pride (or is it merely cost conscious production values?) they take by leaving in all the local Canadian flavor, for better or worse.

Thanks, my friend.  Things have eased off a bit although I'm still not out of the woods.  It will be a rough few months and then hopefully by the New Year a more hopeful and satisfactory outlook will appear on the horizon, for me and everyone else.

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I love chatting with The Belle of the Boards, but I can see that whatever's been hanging over you is still there and that it's clearly major. The idea of you hoping that something satisfactory will appear on the horizon tears at my heart a little, but I also want to respect the privacy you'd so naturally want. Please just know that all of us here on Bronxie Watch are snug in your corner and love you regardless of specifics. Our toughest challenges are generally private and lonely but please think of us as a phalanx of giant nutcrackers and candy canes lining the path you're walking. (Or is that nightmarish rather than comforting?  Too Salvador Dali?)

Speaking of which, you actually counted 100 Christmases?? I'm picturing you hunkered down in front of the TV with a Faith Domergue-style lady scientist white smock and clipboard. I'm assuming hot chocolate will be your next avenue of research. Chop chop, girl! The world needs to know. 

I happily accept subtle and sophisticated as applied to Danny Kaye. (The "Choreography" number in White Christmas is one of my all-time faves.)  But then, as you said, we have "Popo the Puppet", which can only be described as Pee Wee Herman on acid. From what I understand there was a lot of the humanitarian in the man himself, so I'm willing to be somewhat forgiving, though the occasional eye roll is inevitable. 

May the Cote d'Azur be with you.

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These Christmas movies, all 1200* of them, must in some way contribute to what ultimately might be a disappointing Christmas for viewers. Perfect people in perfect towns, where snow falls dramatically at the kiss, where every house is decorated by Better Homes and Gardens, and where all big city residents who were crazy enough to go to the big city all go home to the country where they find themselves and live in perfect harmony.  (A lot of this is figured just passing this while channel surfing.) By the time the viewers own Christmas shows up, how can it compete?

I realize these are very popular and I have a friend that loves them so this is not really a put down on them. (Not totally anyway.) I sometimes think when I recognize a face that this is the "Love Boat" of our generation as these films are where old TV actors go to die. God bless for them still working. My wife likes them but understands their limits. I provide company and occasional commentary all the while trying not to be too critical. (It is tempting to go Mystery Science Theater on some but I love my wife.)

I will confess to one I enjoyed. The Christmas Card from 2006 with Ed Asner and Lois Nettleton in one that involves a soldier who received a random Christmas card from a young woman, as part of a church  project, comes to find her. It is old enough it may have set the template.

Give Hallmark credit. When they find an audience they are full on for them.

*who knows?

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On 11/14/2020 at 9:39 AM, DougieB said:

I love chatting with The Belle of the Boards, but I can see that whatever's been hanging over you is still there and that it's clearly major. The idea of you hoping that something satisfactory will appear on the horizon tears at my heart a little, but I also want to respect the privacy you'd so naturally want. Please just know that all of us here on Bronxie Watch are snug in your corner and love you regardless of specifics. Our toughest challenges are generally private and lonely but please think of us as a phalanx of giant nutcrackers and candy canes lining the path you're walking. (Or is that nightmarish rather than comforting?  Too Salvador Dali?)

Speaking of which, you actually counted 100 Christmases?? I'm picturing you hunkered down in front of the TV with a Faith Domergue-style lady scientist white smock and clipboard. I'm assuming hot chocolate will be your next avenue of research. Chop chop, girl! The world needs to know. 

I happily accept subtle and sophisticated as applied to Danny Kaye. (The "Choreography" number in White Christmas is one of my all-time faves.)  But then, as you said, we have "Popo the Puppet", which can only be described as Pee Wee Herman on acid. From what I understand there was a lot of the humanitarian in the man himself, so I'm willing to be somewhat forgiving, though the occasional eye roll is inevitable. 

May the Cote d'Azur be with you.

Oh Dougie I always appreciate your generous comments -- I think we all have been or are in a lonely place (not as bad as Dix Steele however) and most especially nowadays.  This pandemic is sort of a "blessing" (mixed of course) for me, in that since the entire world has slowed down and things in general just aren't getting done, I can more or less "coast" a bit on these unexpected events.  

It Came From Beneath Hallmark -- I have so much time on my hands (as many others) to be able to actually monitor the incredibly lazy (and scarily Pavlovian, if you think about it) scripts on this channel, that it's not even funny.  I swear the writers must be given a quota of words that must be used for every story, and "Christmas" (followed by "tradition", then "hot chocolate") tops that list.  

"Pee Wee Herman on Acid" -- I have never heard Popo the Puppet described so accurately.  Kaye's humanitarianism was part of his appeal; however I've also read that he was a notorious grouch, very difficult to work with.  Talented, unique and I'm sure a perfectionist as all those great stars were, but in Danny's case allegedly not such a nice person.

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On 11/17/2020 at 3:11 PM, movieman1957 said:

These Christmas movies, all 1200* of them, must in some way contribute to what ultimately might be a disappointing Christmas for viewers. Perfect people in perfect towns, where snow falls dramatically at the kiss, where every house is decorated by Better Homes and Gardens, and where all big city residents who were crazy enough to go to the big city all go home to the country where they find themselves and live in perfect harmony.  (A lot of this is figured just passing this while channel surfing.) By the time the viewers own Christmas shows up, how can it compete?

I realize these are very popular and I have a friend that loves them so this is not really a put down on them. (Not totally anyway.) I sometimes think when I recognize a face that this is the "Love Boat" of our generation as these films are where old TV actors go to die. God bless for them still working. My wife likes them but understands their limits. I provide company and occasional commentary all the while trying not to be too critical. (It is tempting to go Mystery Science Theater on some but I love my wife.)

I will confess to one I enjoyed. The Christmas Card from 2006 with Ed Asner and Lois Nettleton in one that involves a soldier who received a random Christmas card from a young woman, as part of a church  project, comes to find her. It is old enough it may have set the template.

Give Hallmark credit. When they find an audience they are full on for them.

*who knows?

It's interesting, Chris, in that I find the people who not only enjoy but truly love these Hallmark things are not a bunch of silly "flyover", simple-minded dunces but quite the contrary -- more likely than not workaholic, goal-oriented, detail-minded, well-educated people who have a hard time relaxing and so find great release with these movies, which are, in my opinion, mindless, dumb, cheesy yet soulless, and, as I like to say, Untouched By Human Hands, lol.   I don't know how anyone can invest themselves emotionally in the stories yet many seem to.  More power to them! 

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On 11/17/2020 at 3:11 PM, movieman1957 said:

These Christmas movies, all 1200* of them, must in some way contribute to what ultimately might be a disappointing Christmas for viewers. Perfect people in perfect towns, where snow falls dramatically at the kiss, where every house is decorated by Better Homes and Gardens, and where all big city residents who were crazy enough to go to the big city all go home to the country where they find themselves and live in perfect harmony.  (A lot of this is figured just passing this while channel surfing.) By the time the viewers own Christmas shows up, how can it compete?

I realize these are very popular and I have a friend that loves them so this is not really a put down on them. (Not totally anyway.) I sometimes think when I recognize a face that this is the "Love Boat" of our generation as these films are where old TV actors go to die. God bless for them still working. My wife likes them but understands their limits. I provide company and occasional commentary all the while trying not to be too critical. (It is tempting to go Mystery Science Theater on some but I love my wife.)

I will confess to one I enjoyed. The Christmas Card from 2006 with Ed Asner and Lois Nettleton in one that involves a soldier who received a random Christmas card from a young woman, as part of a church  project, comes to find her. It is old enough it may have set the template.

Give Hallmark credit. When they find an audience they are full on for them.

*who knows?

Your first paragraph is perfect; you ran each cliche (all 1200 of them) to ground. I think you hit on something with the Mystery Science Theater reference because these movies are an ironist's dream. There can be a huge disconnect between what the script seems to be calling for and what the producers and prop department have settled on to actualize it. A prized family heirloom is obviously the kind of tacky modern trinket you'd pick up at a mall kiosk. My favorite was when the women hired to decorate a mansion finally settled on the theme of silver bells for it's timeless elegance and simplicity. What we eventually saw was a buttload of giant silver-glittered styrofoam bells right out of Party 'n' Paper. Hallmark movies are a cautionary lesson in what happens when taste and budget are at odds. 

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On 11/22/2020 at 3:10 PM, Bronxgirl48 said:

Oh Dougie I always appreciate your generous comments -- I think we all have been or are in a lonely place (not as bad as Dix Steele however) and most especially nowadays.  This pandemic is sort of a "blessing" (mixed of course) for me, in that since the entire world has slowed down and things in general just aren't getting done, I can more or less "coast" a bit on these unexpected events.  

It Came From Beneath Hallmark -- I have so much time on my hands (as many others) to be able to actually monitor the incredibly lazy (and scarily Pavlovian, if you think about it) scripts on this channel, that it's not even funny.  I swear the writers must be given a quota of words that must be used for every story, and "Christmas" (followed by "tradition", then "hot chocolate") tops that list.  

"Pee Wee Herman on Acid" -- I have never heard Popo the Puppet described so accurately.  Kaye's humanitarianism was part of his appeal; however I've also read that he was a notorious grouch, very difficult to work with.  Talented, unique and I'm sure a perfectionist as all those great stars were, but in Danny's case allegedly not such a nice person.

The image of Dix Steele and Gloria Grahame living across the courtyard from each other is a good metaphor for the gulf between all of us in this pandemic.  And I guess the internet is our courtyard. I hope I didn't lay on the loneliness stuff too heavily; I was worried you or a loved one might have been having health issues or something similar. I think we're all "coasting" in one way or another; "unexpected" is an understatement and holding pattern is the name of the game right now. 

I insist you keep up your Hallmark studies. You owe it to your fellow Pavlovian victims. I want to see Bronxgirl's Hallmark Scriptwriting For Dummies on the shelves this time next year. The hubby and I have formulated The Hour and Thirty-eight Rule. At 1:38 or thereabouts the heroine sees him with the old girlfriend and decides to go back to her job in the city...or he finds the discarded first draft of her article written before she fell for him and decides to accept the promotion in some distant part of the country... or the guy she broke up with back home follows her and asks her back in front of our hero at the dance and the hero bows out before he hears her say no. All those real-life situations we've all found ourselves in from time to time. Then the next twenty minutes involves untangling the mess the misunderstanding caused, until they can kiss under the mistletoe. By the way, have you noticed how many times the "mistletoe" is actually holly berries? Nobody expects these clowns to be botanists, but come on, folks!

I'm sorry but not all that surprised to hear about Danny's dark side. When that much energy goes into putting on a show it makes sense that there's something underneath. I just watched Merry Andrew on TCM's circus night and I was struck by how dismissive of Pier Angeli he was, even though he was supposedly infatuated. There seems to have been a pattern of him being the pursued rather that the pursuer, which made for an odd dynamic in his screen relationships

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Thanks, Dougie.  No, thank God there are no health issues.  I'll just say this:  I do hope we get that second round of stimulus....

I was binge-watching some Sex and the City last night, then switched over to Hackmark.  Talk about surreal.   Watched A Christmas Tree Grows In Colorado.  A Jewish gay fireman!  Hanukkah!  African-American male and female leads! Adoption! Well, it's about time.   I'm thinking of writing something for the channel:  Christmas In Da Bronx.  Egg creams instead of eggnogs.  Chinese restaurant Peking Duck.....

MERRY ANDREW not my favorite Kaye.  "Everything is Tickety-Boo" -- please, no, lol.  I think Danny got the girl -- Virginia Mayo to be exact -- in one of his earlier efforts but I forget the title.  Now that's a jackpot for any guy.

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On 11/26/2020 at 12:40 AM, Bronxgirl48 said:

Thanks, Dougie.  No, thank God there are no health issues.  I'll just say this:  I do hope we get that second round of stimulus....

I was binge-watching some Sex and the City last night, then switched over to Hackmark.  Talk about surreal.   Watched A Christmas Tree Grows In Colorado.  A Jewish gay fireman!  Hanukkah!  African-American male and female leads! Adoption! Well, it's about time.   I'm thinking of writing something for the channel:  Christmas In Da Bronx.  Egg creams instead of eggnogs.  Chinese restaurant Peking Duck.....

MERRY ANDREW not my favorite Kaye.  "Everything is Tickety-Boo" -- please, no, lol.  I think Danny got the girl -- Virginia Mayo to be exact -- in one of his earlier efforts but I forget the title.  Now that's a jackpot for any guy.

Yes, thank God. But financial worries can be just as urgent so I'm joining you in the hope that our government can get its collective **** together.

Yes, it's interesting that Hackmark is trying to get real after all this time. The times are changing in your favor, so start cranking out that script. I would pay dearly to see Candace Cameron Bure attempt to do the lead in Christmas in Da Bronx, so do your best to make it happen for me, OK?

I knew someone who used to say "Tickety-Boo" and I wasn't any more pleased to hear it out of Danny's mouth than I was to hear it out of his. The fact that Virginia Mayo could be so malleable in the face of Danny being so intractable is probably the only reason that pairing could work. Virginia probably wouldn't pop up on many ten best lists, not even mine, but I'm definitely a fan. The musicals are always fun (She's Back on Broadway is coming up.) and she could easily carry "programmers" like Pearl of the South Pacific. She was also good in noir-ish films too, like White Heat, which is a real litmus test for actresses.

 

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On 11/22/2020 at 2:21 PM, Bronxgirl48 said:

It's interesting, Chris, in that I find the people who not only enjoy but truly love these Hallmark things are not a bunch of silly "flyover", simple-minded dunces but quite the contrary -- more likely than not workaholic, goal-oriented, detail-minded, well-educated people who have a hard time relaxing and so find great release with these movies, which are, in my opinion, mindless, dumb, cheesy yet soulless, and, as I like to say, Untouched By Human Hands, lol.   I don't know how anyone can invest themselves emotionally in the stories yet many seem to.  More power to them! 

"The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play." - Theodore Sturgeon

 

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