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***ASK MONGO***


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Mongo, I don't know what happened, my original response to this message has vanished into Internetherland.

 

I wanted to thank you for your research and your happy talent for organization. You make an excellent historian and a good writer too!

 

One or two minor corrections--Iturbi did more than just the 2 concerti with his sister, it's Stephan not Stephen, and the Iturbi competition in Valencia is actually every 2 years. (I have a friend competing in the '06.) Iturbi and Stephan did, by the way, resolve their dispute out of court.

 

And a little addition: besides cigars and gardening, Iturbi collected (and smoked) pipes, and was a speed demon who loved fast cars, motorcycles and airplanes. He was a licensed pilot who survived countless air "mishaps" and flew his own plane to many of his concerts. When the war grounded civilian planes, Iturbi rode his motorcycle everywhere "like an Army dispatch rider, careless of life or limb." The joke around MGM was that not even a guaranteed contact renewal could persuade anyone else to climb on that bike with him. I would've, but then I'm a biker too. ;-)

 

Thanks again for all your hard work!

Trout

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It was my pleasure Trout.

 

Actually, what I meant about Iturbi playing two piano with his sister was that they each played a piano together on one stage (like Ferrante and Teischer sp?).

 

And I was glad to hear that he and his son-in-law Stephan, managed to patch things up and that Iturbi got to enjoy the company of his granddaughters (and his great-granddaughter).

 

He certainly was a man of many interests. I just can't imagine the fabulous pianist speeding in cars and flying his own plane. Amazing gent.

 

Mongo

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During this week Donna Reed (tomorrow) and Irene Dunne (later in the week) have their days on TCM. There are many movies by both ladies that I haven't seen - and aren't in my movie book so I can't rely on it to tell me what's good and what isn't. :-( Could/would you Mongo or someone else who is a big fan of these ladies please check the schedule and maybe tell me some movies that are good and that I should watch. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

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FWIW, I've reviewed several of these ladies' films on my website, including many of the B movies that are being shown on Ms. Reed's day (tomorrow). You'll find links to them from imdb.com or a link from the Great Movie Alert! thread in the Favorites folder of this site.

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<>

 

Well, maybe, but I can't imagine Iturbi putting wads of paper into the piano to change the sound like Ferrante and Teicher. ;-) Having the action so fine that the barest touch of the key dropped it like a hammer, that was the limit of Iturbi's gimmickry (if so it was). The rest of the magic was in his (and his sister's) hands.

 

But yes, they played two-piano pieces frequently, as well as Iturbi conducting for Amparo's soloing. Or Iturbi would play and conduct at the same time.

 

<>

 

That's what I find fascinating. His piano playing hits me in a way nobody else's ever has (I find Horowitz blurry and indistinct; no disrespect intended, but that's how he hits me) and yet there was so much more. Iturbi was a bundle of contrasts -- how many concert pianists boxed as a pastime? Iturbi boxed nearly every day. In fact, his 1929 NYC debut nearly had to be delayed because he boxed a member of the ship's crew on the way across the Atlantic...he won the match but sprained a finger...but I digress. It's all the contradictions about the man that take an already interesting fellow into the realms of the obsession-worthy. :-)

 

I shall be quiet now!

Trout

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Twinktab, I don't know how one becomes a film historian short of simply knowing more than anybody else about the stuff... ;-) BUT about film preservation, I just learned something.

 

I made an ebay purchase today -- a great lobby card from "Two Girls and a Sailor" -- and it turns out the fellow who sold the card to me works in film preservation. He sent me a website with an article about the place where he works (Library of Congress! Woof!). I hope you find it helpful or at least interesting.

 

Here's the article:

 

http://www.leonardmaltin.com/02-11-02/nitrateFilm.htm

 

Let me know if you are interested in talking to this fellow and I will e-mail him and ask if it's okay to give out his e-mail address.

 

Trout

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Hey Trout,

 

Thanks for the link to the article about film preservation. It was Great! Please if there is any further information or any contact that can get me started, I would greatly appreciate it. It sounds so interesting. Wouldn't it be a great feeling to bring back one of the classics, and bring it to life fully restored to be enjoyed and embraced again. I think I would fall off my chair, if I could do it with one of my favorites!

 

Thanks again for any information....and on the note about film historian...than I must say that I might be an amateur film historian....LOL

 

Thanks again,

Tabitha

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>His piano playing hits me in a way nobody else's ever has ...

 

mlktrout, he was quite a pianist all right. Recently I saw a short clip of Iturbi playing De Falla's Ritual Fire Dance (ca 1980). At the end of that short piece there is a repetition of the same chord played 15 times in succession. He brought his hands high over his shoulders in playing these notes (while looking straight ahead) in a way I had never seen before. Despite his obvious virtuosity, still amazing how he could hit the right keys everytime. I can't tell you how much I enjoy watching him do that (I have it on tape). I didn't know prior to reading this thread that he had much to do with movies. Interesting.

 

 

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Corrections:

 

I dug out the Iturbi recording. The clip was from the Bell Telephone Hour and was done in 1960, not 1980.

 

And one further note ... the tour-de-force ending of this short masterpiece in miniature by De Falla features the same chord not 15 times in succession as stated, but 20 times!!! ... and played by Mr. Iturbi with great aplomb.

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Lux, you are very right. I have that "Great Pianists of the Bell Telephone Hour" DVD as well!

 

Iturbi also did the Ritual Fire Dance in two of his movies, "Two Girls and a Sailor" (in a 2-piano arrangement with sister Amparo) and in "Three Daring Daughters" (another 2-piano arrangement with Amparo but also with an orchestra & chorus). He performed it on several radio programs and recorded it at least three times, as well. I've heard it was kind of his signature song.

 

Recently I picked up a 3-CD set of De Falla compositions and the liner notes mentioned nobody had heard of De Falla's music in the USA until the late 1920's-early 1930's. Iturbi was a big fan of De Falla and I'm willing to bet he's the one who introduced De Falla to the United States. Now Iturbi's forgotten, but De Falla lives on. One of life's little ironies.

 

Trout

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Hi Mongo! I have a question about the TCM lead-in to their films. Now that the train and apartment are gone, what is that strange looking object to the left of the printing? I have looked and looked and I still can't figure out what it is, if anything. Thanks. :D Sue

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Katy, actor Hurd Hatfield not only acted in a bunch of films, he was also a TV and stage actor.

Of course his best known part was in "The Picture pf Dorian Gray", at which time he became a friend of co-star Angela Lansbury. He would also guest on her TV show "Murder, She Wrote", a few times.

 

Some other movies he appeared in were "Dragon Seed" with Katharine Hepburn, "The Unsuspected" (shown on TCM), "Joan of Arc", "The Left Handed Gun", "King of Kings", "El Cid", "The Boston Strangler", etc.

 

Mr. Hatfield died a bachelor in Ireland at the age of 81 in 1998.

 

Mongo

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Thanks bunches Mongo, I knew you'd know. :-) A lot of those movies aren't shown too often - but I have Dragon Seed, just haven't watched it yet. I really like The Boston Strangler and wish they would show it on TCM - it seems to me that they used to show it occasionally on AMC. And I've been waiting for years to see Joan of Arc, with Ingrid Bergman. The last time I saw that was about 25 years ago on a Canadian TV channel. I sure wish SOMEONE would show it, it is a really good movie. I guess I'll just have to been more attentive in looking for Hurd Hatfield - it's nice to know he was in more than Dorian Gray.

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Hi Mongo...I was reading Donna Reed's profile yesterday on the TCM website, and it mentioned a film that she made in 1974 called Yellow-Headed Summer. It was never released. I checked imdb.com and it only listed Donna Reed and Walter Pidgeon. There was no director, no comments, nothing. Not even character names. Do you have any info on this? They are two of my favorite stars. Thanks!

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Kimbo, my research has turned up zilch on the 1974 movie "Yellow-Headed Summer" with Donna Reed and Walter Pidgeon, except that it was never released.

 

It's possible after it was made, the studio felt that the movie wasn't worthy of the two stars and it was canned. This has happened with other films.

If and when I should get some further info on the movie I will be sure to advise you.

 

Mongo

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Hey Mongo, this is kind of a strange one....

 

There was this young african american kid who sang in a few old movies named Bobby Brooks. I think sometimes billed as the "Bobby Brooks Quartette". His voice was incredible. Any idea what happened to him?

 

Tom

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Tom, unfortunately since the talented Bobby Brooks was featured in only a few films of the 1940s, he is not listed in "Who's Who in Hollywood" or in Donald Bogle's book "Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies, & Bucks" which are usually two good resources.

Mr. Brooks did however get credit on some of the posters from the films which indicates he was a noted entertainer, in his day.

 

Mongo

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