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Angela Lansbury as SOTM in January 2012

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Angela Lansbury is under-rated. By that I don't mean so much the public's perception of her acting skills, which are generally acknowledged to be first-rate.

Nope, she's under-rated in the sense that most people, even movie-loving people like us, don't often seem to think about her at all, one way or the other. She's rarely included in "lists" of favourite actresses, etc., and she doesn't get a lot of mention on these boards.

 

Personally I find her to be one of those people who's inherenty likable, regardless of the role she's playing. Even as the ruthless mother in *The Manchurian Candidate* she gets our attention, possibly, in some perverted way, our admiration.

 

She was in lots of good stuff, but two of her best performances ( other than of course the one mentioned above) were as the mother of the infatuated teenage girl in *The World of Henry Orient* (1964), a rather quirky but entertaining film, and as the perceived "other woman" in the heart-warming family drama, *The Dark at the Top of the Stairs*. ( I don't usually use the term "heart-warming", but it suits this gentle little movie.)

 

And then, of course, there's that cozy tv series, "Murder She Wrote" - which, regardless of how many bodies fall in any one episode, always does strike me as "cozy". I mean that in a good way.

 

There was another thread started here not too long ago about Madame Lansbury, but I couldn't find it.

 

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Well, agreed, they're both missing that ineffable charm belonging to the JOEL McCREA poetic requests. But really, I don't see why mine "sucks" even more than yours'. At least mine scans - your contribution is all over the place. Snark, snark. :|

 

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Wow. What an out-of-left-field shock this pick is.

 

All Fall Down ; Gaslight ; Manchurian Candidate ; Bedknobs and Broomsticks ; Dorian Grey ; National Velvet : THEY'RE ALL IN (rather) HEAVY ROTATION THROUGHOUT THE YEAR (and the last few years) ANYWAY. (Although some of them are good, but really, how many times can you watch?)

 

Every month is Angela Lansbury month on TCM.

 

Edited by: JonnyGeetar on Oct 8, 2011 11:30 AM

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Maybe they should show *Point Blank* - it's got an Angela in it, just not a Lansbury one. Perhaps they should have an "Angela" month, where they can rotate a number of less well-known films starring anyone with the first name "Angela", or "Angie".

 

Miss Lansbury's output is more quality than quantity - if you check her filmography, you'll see that she didnt' make a huge number of films, so the TCM powers that be have less to choose from. Perhaps that accounts for the "chestnuts" - good chestnuts, all the same.

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The major distinction of ALL FALL DOWN is that it features possibly the weirdest lead character name in film history------------ Warren Beatty as Beri Beri (no other name, and no explanation for it)

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19 Emmy nominations and no wins; 3 Oscar nominations and no wins; 6 Tony nominations and she's won 5 out of 6. At least Broadway seems to understand her and reward her.

 

I think an argument can be made that the two most beloved (think about that word) stars are James Stewart and Angela Lansbury. She is just a gem that everyone loves.

 

I'm still hoping she gets one more great film role but that's looking doubtful.

 

 

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Every time one of the characters says "Beri Beri" in one of those strange accents employed throughout the film I laugh out loud.

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I can see where Lansbury would be a favorite of many, and yet not someone cinephiles may enthuse about as a SOTM honoree.

 

During her contract years at MGM, she was usually a supporting actress. In TENTH AVENUE ANGEL, she was second-billed to tiny Margaret O'Brien (that was her biggest role at the studio). She was often third-, fourth-, or fifth-billed.

 

When she freelanced in the 50s, she did occasionally snag a lead role, usually in low-budget fare. None of those films are being aired in January. Examples would include MUTINY, A LIFE AT STAKE and THE PURPLE MASK.

 

She turned to television early in her career during the 50s and 60s and found starring roles on Broadway. The Tonys and her later success on CBS' Murder, She Wrote would indicate that her niche was really outside movies. But she did find occasional work back on the big screen as a character actress.

 

Her later films where she does have a rare lead part are not included in TCM's January schedule. These would be BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS and SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE. Instead, we get her fifth-billed in MISTER BUDDWING (which would more correctly be used for a James Garner or Jean Simmons tribute).

 

Obviously in the scheme of things, she is no Garbo, and since TCM will rely on her MGM entries for some of the SOTM offerings, it will be clear she was not a leading film star of her generation. But her work is solid and people do like her, and she's worked for over six decades...so she is deserving of the tribute. More importantly, she's a friend of the channel.

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Bedknobs and Broomsticks is definitely not in heavy rotation. It may not be her best but I am definitely looking forward to seeing it again. I used to love the movie when I was a kid.

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With The Dick Van Dyke Show celebrating it's 50th anniversary this week, I got to thinking about how DVD, Angela Lansbury and Andy Griffith, who are all about the same age (85) and multi-talented performers (singers, dancers, actors), were able to keep their careers going into their golden years (Diagnosis Murder, Murder She Wrote, Matlock, etc) and not just fade away. While all three may not be considered "greats" by cinematic standards, I think there's something to be said for their reliable, consistent good work and a certain appeal that goes beyond what you see on the screen, big or small. I just plain like them and I'm glad they chose Angela for SOTM for January. I look forward to tuning in. And yes, that includes Bedknobs and Broomsticks, the first movie I ever saw her in and which endeared her to me forever. :)

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I'm excited. I absolutely love love love her. I have to see the schedule to see the complete list of films they are showing.

 

Murder She Wrote is my all time favorite show, and I have every DVD. I think her talent as an actress is underrated. Everyone I know who has ever met her has nothing but great things to say about her. I always enjoy watching her in interviews. In her Private Screenings, she is as sharp as a tack and truly charming. You can tell Robert O enjoyed doing the interview.

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"Her later films where she does have a rare lead part are not included in TCM's January schedule. These would be BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS and SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE"

 

Rats! I would have loved to snag a copy of Bedknobs and Broomsticks. One of my favorite movies that I don't own.

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*All Fall Down ; Gaslight ; Manchurian Candidate ; Bedknobs and Broomsticks ; Dorian Grey ; **National Velvet< : THEY'RE ALL IN (rather) HEAVY ROTATION THROUGHOUT THE YEAR (and the last few years) ANYWAY. (Although some of them are good, but really, how many times can you watch?)

 

Every month is Angela Lansbury month on TCM.

 

 

I have to agree with Jonny Geetar. These next few upcoming months seem to feature more old chestnuts and fewer premieres than any months in the past two years. Maybe it's just that I'm running out of movies that I haven't seen, or maybe it's just that TCM can't get them, but some of the recent programming is beginning to resemble the AFI Top 100 more than the traditional TCM mix.

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> {quote:title=Kinokima wrote:}{quote}Bedknobs and Broomsticks is definitely not in heavy rotation. It may not be her best but I am definitely looking forward to seeing it again.

Admittedly, it has not been on of late, but there was a period about a year (or so)ago where it was on a lot , and often on weekends or primetime (a lot of Disney's live action, sixties/seventies ventures used to haunt the schedule.) I guess we could quibble about it, but since it's not part of the SOTM line-up in January (according to some of the threads here), I guess it's a moot point,

 

Lansbury is a terrific actress, but a lot of her titles are in HEAVY rotation ( Gaslight , National Velvet and (especially) All Fall Down really show up A LOT.) I just can't work myself up for this the way I would a Bela Lugosi month or a Joel McCrea ,month- and I note here that I'm not in to silent films, but I think it's terrific that Buster Keaton is the (MUCH DESERVED) SOTM for October as it has made a lot of people happy and brings some new titles into the rotation.

 

But, (as I've said a few times before) TCM's programming has been much improved, the SUTS was great, The Constant Nymph was nice...so I'll allow whoever has the insatiable thirst for Lansbury to have their jollies in January.

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_January 4th/5th:_

 

GASLIGHT 44 (MGM)

NATIONAL VELVET (MGM)

THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY 45 (MGM)

THE HARVEY GIRLS (MGM)

THE HOODLUM SAINT (MGM)

IF WINTER COMES (MGM)

TENTH AVENUE ANGEL (MGM)

THE RED DANUBE (MGM)

 

_January 11th/12th:_

 

TILL THE CLOUDS ROLL BY (MGM)

KIND LADY 51 (MGM)

STATE OF THE UNION (MGM)

THE THREE MUSKETEERS 48 (MGM)

SAMSON AND DELILAH (Paramount)

A LAWLESS STREET (Columbia)

 

_January 17th/18th:_

 

GASLIGHT 44 (MGM)

THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE 62 (MGM)

THE WORLD OF HENRY ORIENT (United Artists)

ALL FALL DOWN (MGM)

THE COURT JESTER (Paramount)

SEASON OF PASSION (United Artists)

THE RELUCTANT DEBUTANTE (MGM)

 

_January 24th/25th:_

 

DEAR HEART (Warner Brothers)

IN THE COOL OF THE DAY (MGM)

MISTER BUDDWING (MGM)

THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD (United Artists)

DEATH ON THE NILE (Paramount)

 

_Not scheduled:_

 

PRIVATE AFFAIRS OF BEL AMI (United Artists)

MUTINY (United Artists)

REMAINS TO BE SEEN (MGM)

A LIFE AT STAKE (Filmakers)

THE PURPLE MASK (Universal)

PLEASE MURDER ME (DCA)

THE LONG HOT SUMMER (20th Fox)

THE DARK AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS (Warner Brothers)

A BREATH OF SCANDAL (Paramount)

BLUE HAWAII (Paramount)

THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE 62 (MGM)

HARLOW 65 (Paramount)

THE AMOROUS ADVENTURES OF MOLL FLANDERS (Paramount)

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE (National General)

BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS (Buena Vista)

THE MIRROR CRACK'D (Columbia)

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Griffith is somewhat unique in that his film career started out great guns---A FACE IN THE CROWD NO TIME FOR SERGEANTS, etc,. but then he turned to TV and never looked back.

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Undoubtedly, one of the wraparounds for DEATH ON THE NILE will reference Lansbury's later starring role on TV's Murder, She Wrote.

 

But, it was actually her performance as Miss Marple in THE MIRROR CRACK'D that led to her getting cast as J.B. Fletcher.

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TopBilled, I'm with you on this one but then everyone around here knows by now I'm a HUGE Angela Lansbury fan. I think she'd be great as SOTM and I wonder if she's ever been on Guest Programmer? Does anybody know?

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There are some titles on this list that I've never caught up with, so it'll be a good opportunity. The list of what isn't being shown is just as interesting. Many of the films scheduled are old friends to TCM viewers, so it's a pity more of the rarely shown ones weren't sought out. "Something For Everyone" has been a favorite of mine all these years. It was directed by her new (in 1970) Broadway bud, Hal Prince, from a script by Hugh Wheeler, also a Broadway vet. (And financed by Broadway backers? Probably.) The quality of the VHS was pretty poor, so maybe a really good print isn't out there. I'd also love to catch up with "Dark At The Top of The Stairs". I remember the movie, but not Angela in it. Anyway, I'll be there for a lot of these, especially "The World of Henry Orient". It shows up a lot these days, but I watch it every time. Still not sick of it.

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