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Guest Hosts - Do they really know what they are talking about?


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*Why have a permanent co-host at all? Why not a particular celebrity (to sit with RO) every week who really likes, is knowledgeable, and can explain why a certain movie is essential?*

 

For a couple of reasons:

 

One is to distinguish *The Essentials* from the Guest Programmers.

 

Two: All the wrap-arounds are shot in a couple of days, not every week.

 

Three: Not every celebrity is well-versed in film history and the fun of the *Essentials* is the conversation about the films. One of the reasons Alec Baldwin is so well liked as a co-host is because he DOES know a lot about film history and can carry on a conversation about it with Robert Osborne.

 

Four: Film Historians: Not every film historian is ready for their close-up. The camera doesn't love them all. Case in point, Molly Haskell. She's great in documentaries about film history but during her stint on the *Essentials* she looked uncomfortable and looked like she wanted to be anywhere but there with Robert O.

 

Some are really good at talking about the history behind certain films but others can turn the talk into a bully pulpit for their agendas or turn into pedantic bores trying to impress everyone with their knowledge.

 

So, I think TCM tries to find quality co-hosts when it comes to the *Essentials* but, as we have seen, not everyone can hold their own with Robert O when it comes to imparting information about a film in an engaging way. Baldwin can and does. Thus, he was asked back.

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Oops. It helps to spell the name correctly. James _Ellroy_ has quite an archive here at the TCM website.

 

_James Ellroy_ -

 

TCM Web Article

http://www.tcm.com/thismonth/article?cid=183435

 

 

TCM Video Clips -

"Armored Car Robbery" Intro/Outro -

http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/index?cid=186817

 

"The Lineup" Intro/Outro -

http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/index?cid=186815

 

"Murder By Contract" Intro/Outro -

http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/index?cid=186813

 

Kyle ("Elroy" is George Jetson's son.) In Hollywood

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James Ellroy's night as Guest Programmer was one of the most entertaining I'd ever seen. His picks were great; little-seen films that were interesting and fun. I wish more programmers would follow that lead.

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Four: Film Historians: Not every film historian is ready for their close-up. The camera doesn't love them all. Case in point, Molly Haskell. She's great in documentaries about film history but during her stint on the Essentials she looked uncomfortable and looked like she wanted to be anywhere but there with Robert O.

 

Oh lzcutter, I simply could not agree more! Molly's wealth of knowledge is boggling, and she has one the most eloquent writing "voices" you could ever hope to find. Insightful, witty, charming. But you're right: on camera with Osborne she really did look a bit green about the gills--hesitant, even. (And if there's only thing Haskell isn't it's hesitant!)

 

Baldwin looks as though he truly is _enjoying_ the discussions, the films-- the whole experience. I'm sure the fact he's an actor helps, but regardless, at the very least it's *entertaining*. And that's EXACTLY what we're going for when introducing essential classic films to people who, let's face it, have probably never seen these films before in their lives. After all, not everyone who clicks on to TCM is an aficionado, or spends their idle hours here on these hallowed forums. My roommate simply adores TCM, but doesn't know her Sternbergs from her Spielbergs ... so I happen to think that Baldwin is actually quite good for this particular segment.

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Kyle, you're an angel for delivering those links! Thank you so much.

 

Ellroy and Mamet - I could listen to them endlessly. If you're from Socal, which I think you are, and haven't read Ellroy's My Dark Places, do so. It's abt Ellroy's search for his mother's killer. All the action is in LA County in and around San Gabriel. A feast for anyone who's interested in 50's underlife in not exactly prime real estate in Southern California . Is "underlife" a word? If it isn't it should be for it describes Ellroy's journey. Oh well, you know what I mean.

 

Thx again, Susan

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*"Kyle, you're an angel for delivering those links! Thank you so much."* - Poinciana

 

"Aw,shucks. It's nothin' any red-blooded American boy wouldn't do." - Fibber McGee

 

Glad to be of help. Enjoy!

 

Kyle (Thanks for the book rec too) In Hollywood

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  • 2 months later...

I didn't catch all of Wuhl's appearance, but he did refer to TO BE OR NOT TO BE screenwriter "Edwin Justin Mayer" when the man's name was actually Edwin Justus Mayer. He does deserve to be commended, though, on his choice of a great, great movie.

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Like just about everything regarding movies, I guess it's really just a matter of taste. I love the co-hosts and programmers who are really exuberant about their love of movies (or a particular movie). Sometimes they open my eyes to something I'd never even thought about before. I get tired of hearing the same old "party-line" when it comes to classics. I want fresh insight, not text book reviews even I can recite by heart. I really have enjoyed Baldwin. You can just tell how much he loves movies. Haskell is another one I like. I'm not expecting encyclopedic perfection on the facts, just show me that you love movies , have something intelligent to say and I'm pretty happy.

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> {quote:title=Hibi wrote:}{quote}

> I did like it better when they had critics and directors co-hosting, but Baldwin seems knowledgeable........

 

While I love both actor/directors Rob Reiner and Peter Bogdanovich, they were both disappointing Essentials hosts. They mainly said things like, "I love this film, I love the acting", etc. No insights, just a statement of opinion.

 

I was never a big Alec Baldwin fan but I absolutely lurve him as Essentials host. He almost always has something interesting and valuable to say, even when opposing Robt O's pov. Bold.

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ennisdelmar2 wrote:

 

"I'm not expecting encyclopedic perfection on the facts, just show me that you love movies , have something intelligent to say and I'm pretty happy."

You said it ! That's how I feel, too. I have a myriad of books and other reference materials about films and movie history if I want facts or technical information. To me, the co-host and the guest programmers are good if they just deliver what you said.

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>>I didn't catch all of Wuhl's appearance, but he did refer to TO BE OR NOT TO BE screenwriter "Edwin Justin Mayer" when the man's name was actually Edwin Justus Mayer. He does deserve to be commended, though, on his choice of a great, great movie.

 

But that's a one-time-only mistake by a guy who isn't claiming to be an authority. It isn't like Bob Osborne referring to the head of Columbia as "Harry Cohen" every single time he is mentioned.

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I have always enjoyed the guest on the essentials. Alec Baldwin has been a great guest. His opinions are honest he seems like he knows alot about the films they are viewing that week. I like his interaction with Robert Osborne. They have had some great films to talk about. I just hope TCM keeps getting guest like Baldwin.

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