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Young Man WIth a Horn


bundie
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Your're right - all three leads are still alive, and that's very unusual. *Young Man with a Horn* was made in 1950 !

In theory, it would be great if TCM could get all three of these actors to appear in an interview before the film was screened. In reality, Kirk, a living legend who deserves all the respect and veneration he gets, might not be up to it. Saw him on - was it this year's Oscars show or last year's? - and he seemed barely able to keep up with what was going on, difficult for him to speak, etc. After all, he's almost 100 years old. I don't mean my remarks about him disrespectfully, just saying, it might be painful, watching him try to carry on any kind of in-depth interview.

Doris, as Mr. O. has informed us, does not choose to make herself available for interviews, and that is her prerogative.

I don't know where Lauren Bacall stands on public appearances. Wouldn't it be swell if she consented to an interview on TCM, maybe before a night featuring her films with H.B.

(I don't know where "swell" came from, I know Bacall never used it - if you can't say "swell" on this website, where can you say it?)

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> Kirk, a living legend who deserves all the respect and veneration he gets, might not be up to it. Saw him on - was it this year's Oscars show or last year's? - and he seemed barely able to keep up with what was going on, difficult for him to speak, etc.

 

MsW,

 

I had the opportunity to see Kirk at the TCM Festival last year. He introduced *Spartacus* with Robert O. Grauman's Chinese was filled with film fans.

 

He was witty, self-deprecating and really seemed to enjoy the fact that so many people were there to see a film that means so much to him.

 

Since his stroke, he's not always easy to understand but if you listen carefully, you can follow his train of thought.

 

And he was able to follow the conversation just fine (in fact, much better than Mickey Rooney who I saw Robert O as well)!

 

He's coming back to the Festival this year to introduce *20,000 Leagues Under the Sea*.

 

Should be fun!

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About *Young Man with a Horn*: I was completely involved in it until the pretentious and obnoxious Lauren Bacall character came into it. This is not Lauren Bacall's fault, of course, she did a great job portraying the kind of character she was playing. Maybe too good a job. The 20 minutes or so that took up that part of the film were dull and exasperating. It was much better before she appeared, and better after she exited.

My take on this is, since the film was largely about Music, and Kirk's character's love of Music, the story loses its way when Bacall's in it, since her character has no interest in Music ( yes, with a capitol "M" ) whatsoever.

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> {quote:title=finance wrote: }{quote}I commented about a year ago that the Bacall character in this film was possibly the worst "catch" of any presentable female charcter I can think of. I don't think there were too many guys leaving the theatre thinking "Why can't I meet a girl like that?"

Ya got that straight, fi. Her character is such an un-charming combination of smug, smart-a**, messed-up, contradictory, arrogant, disrespectful, selfish, and humourless.

Did I leave anything out?

 

I know "complicated" or "distraught" souls are supposed to be fascinating to potential lovers - maybe just because they're "different". But at least they're also supposed to be fun to be with, at least when they're not busy being depressed. But "Amy" is just plain no fun, ever.

 

(I'm not usually this hard on fictional characters- it's just a film, what do I care? Maybe because this boring character flawed an otherwise interesting film, took up 20 minutes or so of precious movie-watching time.)

 

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> {quote:title=bundie wrote:

> }{quote}It struck me that the three stars of this film are still alive: Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, and Doris Day. Unusual for a film made 62 years ago!

>

I think there was a thread about this a while ago: surviving cast members from old movies.

One of my favorites is:

THE UNDER-PUP (1939) - Universal. Gloria Jean's first movie.

 

Still with us from that movie:

Gloria Jean

Dickie Moore

Jean Porter

Ann Gillis

Payne Johnson

Billy Lenhart

Kenneth Brown

 

And possibly others from the large cast of little-known extras playing girls at a summer camp.

 

And, as she's always been a favorite of mine, worth mentioning:

Shirley Mills, co-star in the movie, who passed just away two years ago (3-31-10).

 

So, that's a pretty good survival rate for a movie made in 1939!

Anyone think of any others?

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I think that's what the screen writers were trying to tell people in the audience who knew about those things back then. She wasn't sure herself, so she got married and tried a man and that didn't work out, so she told him she was leaving and might travel around Europe with a female friend of hers. Those were the old days.

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}I think that's what the screen writers were trying to tell people in the audience who knew about those things back then. She wasn't sure herself, so she got married and tried a man and that didn't work out, so she told him she was leaving and might travel around Europe with a female friend of hers. Those were the old days.

 

 

Exactly Fred, very well put. Thankfully the old days are gone and people are free to be who they truly are not just in films but in life.

 

 

 

*lavenderblue19,* Bacall's character was definately there to get in between Day and Douglas. Romantic suspense is what I call it. lol All in all Young Man with the Horn is a good film worth seeing.

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I remember reading somewhere that years after making YMWAH, that Bacall stated that when she made this movie, she had no idea that the character was supposed to be a lesbian. I guess they were more innocent times.

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for the reminder, Fred. I was drawn to this movie thinking it WAS a bio of Beiderbecke. This was about 40 or so years ago. After seeing it, that didn't matter. It's just a damned good movie! I'll HAVE to, of course, out of curiosity click onto the Bix bio you provided to see if he actually did get involved with any "latent" lesbians.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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I think it's as clear as the times would allow that the Bacall character is a lesbian, although she may not have realized it about herself at the time she married Rick Martin. When they're about to break up, she says something to him like "I want to go to Paris and study art. I've met a girl, a very good artist, and we're going together..." Not word for word, but that's the gist. I thought "Ok, she's discovered she's a lesbian", and at the end of her party, she and "the girl" hold hands as they plan their next meeting.

 

Young women often hugged or held hands in old movies, and it didn't mean a thing, but this, along with the emphasis with which Amy speaks of her, and her lack of interest in Rick's physical advances, suggests her sexual orientation. But I can understand why Lauren Bacall herself wouldn't necessarily have picked up on it - it was such an uncommon thing to acknowledge in a mainstream film made in 1950.

I still think, however, that this does not account for her dislikable personality. It's a tad insulting to lesbians - "Oh, she was a lesbian all along, that explains why she was such a b*tch."

Even if she was unhappy with her musician husband, she needn't have been so self-centred and pretentious.

 

I still think *Young Man with a Horn* would have been a better movie without so much "Amy" screen time.

 

About the allusions to Bix Beiderbecke: must have been based very loosely on him, since the kind of music Douglas' character played came into being years after Beiderbecke died. I have some CDs of Beiderbecke's recordings, and the type of jazz played on them is quite different from what Rick Martin plays, whether we're talking "smooth" or "hot" band music.

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The film is featured in the 90's documentary The Celluloid Closet. Specifically, in reference to her character's sexuality, the clip that gets shown is when Kirk confronts her about her attraction/devotion to the other girl, and says "You're a sick girl, Amy. You better see a doctor".

 

Sometimes subtlety is far more interesting than overtness, such as Judith Anderson in REBECCA...Mrs. Danvers is clearly a frustrated old lesbian who was devoted to her former mistress, Rebecca.

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> {quote:title=misswonderly wrote:}{quote}.

> I still think, however, that this does not account for her dislikable personality. It's a tad insulting to lesbians - "Oh, she was a lesbian all along, that explains why she was such a b*tch."

> Even if she was unhappy with her musician husband, she needn't have been so self-centred and pretentious.

>

 

misswonderly, this is not what I meant and if my post came across that way I apologize. I was just trying to point out the reasons for Amy's standoffish nature.

 

 

Amy was a spoiled brat plain and simple which had nothing to do with her sexual preferrence.

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This movie was based on a book which the author claimed was based more on Bix's music rather than his personal life. Bix actually was arrested when in his teens for supposedly molesting a young girl, but the charges were dropped when the girl's parents refused to have her testify. As he was never known to be a "skirt chaser", his own sexuality often came into question.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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Yes. I have some of his music also (was curious, once after seeing the movie in the past, so I bought a compilation) It sounds like other jazz music from the 20s. Not really like portrayed in the movie....

 

 

But then when you listen to Ruth Etting (I have some of her stuff too), her recordings sound nothing like the music in Love Me or Leave Me..........

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>But then when you listen to Ruth Etting (I have some of her stuff too), her recordings sound nothing like the music in Love Me or Leave Me..........

 

Studio executives and the film's producers were smart enough to realize that Doris's fans wanted to hear her sing like Doris, not Etting (whose style was already very dated by the late 1930's, let alone the mid-1950's).

 

In any event, LOVE OR LEAVE ME is one terrific movie and Doris's finest hour (or two hours and two minutes, to be precise).

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