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How about a month long tribute to director Mervyn LeRoy?


LsDoorMat
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So how about highlighting the work of Mervyn LeRoy for a month rather than a star of the month, or as an additional theme - TCM usually has SOTM plus one other theme going every month. He directed such a wide variety of entertaining high quality films in his life, yet he never won a Best Director Oscar. This is just a list of those feature fiims that survive in which he had a directing role either credited or uncredited:

 

Broadway Babies (1929)

Playing Around (1930)

Show Gir lin Hollywood (1930)

Numbered Men (1930)

Top Speed (1930)

Little Caesar (1931)

Gentleman's Fate (1931)

Too Young to Marry (1931)

Broadminded (1931)

Five Star Final (1931)

 

Local Boy Makes Good (1931)

Tonight or Never (Sam Goldwyn) (1931)

High Pressure (1932)

Heart of New York (1932)

Two Seconds (1932)

Big City Blues (1932)

Three on a Match (1932)

I Am A Fugitive From a Chain Gang (1932)

Hard To Handle (1933)

Elmer The Great (1933)

 

Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)

Tugboat Annie (1933)

The World Changes (1933)

Hi Nellie (1934)

Heat Lightning (1934)

Happiness Ahead(1934)

Sweet Adeline (1934)

Oil For the Lamps of China (1935)

Page Miss Glory (1935)

I Found Stella Parrish (1935)

 

Anthony Adverse (1936)

Three Men on a Horse (uncredited/ no other director listed) (1936)

King and the Chorus Girl (uncredited/no other director listed) (1936)

They Wont Forget (uncredited/no other director listed) (1937)

Fools For Scandal (1938)

Wizard of Oz (1939) (producer/uncredited director along with three others, only Victor Fleming credited)

Waterloo Bridge (1940)

Escape (1940)

Blossoms inthe Dust (1941)

Unholy Partners (1941)

 

Johnny Eager (1942)

Random Harvest (1942)

Madam Curie (1943)

Thirty Seconds Over TOkyo (1944)

Without Reservations (1946)

Desire Me (uncredited, but then so are all the other directors) (1947)

Homecoming (1948)

Little Women (1949)

Any Number Can Play (1949)

East Side West Side (1949)

 

Quo Vadis (1951)

Lovely To Look At (1952)

Million Dollar Mermaid (1952)

Latin Lovers (1953)

Rose Marie (1954)

Strange Lady in Town (1955)

Mister Roberts (1955)

Bad Seed (1956)

Toward the Unknown (1956)

No Time For Sergeants (1958)

 

Home Before Dark (1958)

FBI Story (1959)

Wake Me When It's Over (Mervyn Leroy Prod./Fox) (1960)

Devil At 4 OClock (Columbia) (1961)

Majority of One (1961)

Gypsy (1962)

Mary Mary (1963)

Moment to Moment (Universal) (1965)

Green Berets (uncredited - listed on director credits with John Wayne) (1968)

 

Of the 69 surviving films directed or co-directed by Mervyn LeRoy, only 3 appear to not belong to Warner Bros., TCM's parent company, making them quite accessible. Plus LeRoy directed such a wide variety of films that you really can't define his style other than high quality. I think he'd make an interesting month-long subject of study with a surviving filmography lasting 40 years. It's too bad none of his silent films survived, especially Oscar-nominated "Oh, Kay!" from 1928.

 

However silent "Ella Cinders" from 1926 does survive, and is LeRoy's only writing credit. It is on DVD and in the public domain.

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Lol you know what my favorite fact about Mervyn LeRoy is? The fact that he had a romantic relationship with Ginger Rogers hehehe. But aside from that I do enjoy his films and totally respect him. He should be credited as a star of the month or even just a day. After all they gave a day of films that Billy Wilder Directed, and oh boy was that a good day.

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> {quote:title=Jezebelle wrote:}{quote}Lol you know what my favorite fact about Mervyn LeRoy is? The fact that he had a romantic relationship with Ginger Rogers hehehe. But aside from that I do enjoy his films and totally respect him. He should be credited as a star of the month or even just a day. After all they gave a day of films that Billy Wilder Directed, and oh boy was that a good day.

I've heard that's why Ginger did the "We're in the Money" number that opens Gold Diggers of 1933. LeRoy also had a relationship with Alice White during the time he was directing her films.

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Calvin, this is an excellent idea, especially since TCM has access to so many of Mervyn LeRoy's films. TCM has done a good job of showing his films, but this would be an ideal way to review his career as a whole. Some people prefer his short, fast-paced Warner Brothers films. In general, his films get longer throughout his career, not necessarily a plus. I think some of his early MGM films are among his best, like JOHNNY EAGER and WATERLOO BRIDGE.

 

 

We'd see quite a variety of stars in a LeRoy tribute. Let's hope TCM makes this happen.

 

 

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*Anthony Adverse* (1936). It has everything -- high society, sex, religion, grand opera, and even Napoleon. Grand cast, great scope over time and place, and also the best, most sophisticated score (by Korngold) of any film -- a leitmotif for every character and situation.

 

 

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

> I agree. He directed my favorite film.

 

That one is sort of a warm-up for his MGM period.

 

When I was a teen, I very much wanted to see ANTHONY ADVERSE, but WNBC had it under license and the only times that I saw it listed, it was on a school night after The Tonight Show. They wouldn't air it in the summer, no we got things in that slot such as SWAMP FIRE and MANFISH. "Festival of Thrillers" was about the only time that I'd watch a 1am movie on WNBC.

 

I didn't see ADVERSE until the last decade or so, and now I've seen it four times. I'm not crazy about March, down the cast list was Louis Hayward who would have been much more acceptable for me since Errol Flynn was probably busy elsewhere.

 

William Dieterle wasn't happy though, the project was snatched from him by Jack Warner "to keep peace in the family" since LeRoy was married to Harry Warner's daughter.

 

 

I'm not wild about LeRoy's MGM period and his return to WB showed he could make movies of stage plays that still looked like stage plays and with some blatant overacting or just plain bad acting. Gone was the inventiveness of his early period, replaced by point-and-shoot direction. At least he was better treated by the studio than was William Wellman who couldn't get budgets or stars and quit the biz in disgust when he came back to the fold around the same time.

 

Edited by: clore on Aug 31, 2012 4:16 PM

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Where did that piece about his MGM period come from? I didn't say that.

 

I remember when AA was on Channel 4, I was very young, loved the film even then, and even wrote to NBC to say please put it on as a sort of Christmas present. They put it on two nights before Christmas that year, I was amazed that they responded!

 

I think the scope of the film would not have worked as well at MGM, it would have been too slicked up. But I do find the theme of searching in some of LeRoy's films (also Random Harvest, etc.) very appealing.

 

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I went back and fixed it - it's that darn inconsistent quote feature that looks fine in preview mode, and sometimes screws up when one officially posts.

 

One can see in ADVERSE that WB was aspiring to greater things, they paid a fortune for the rights to the best seller and it's just under two-and-a-half hours - not common at that studio where even George Arliss films ran 90 minutes.

 

Yet it's still a WB film at heart, filled with social injustice issues, moral degradation and reformation, a wrongly accused hero and yes, one incredibly "hot" femme in Steffi Duna who managed to survive the Code in dress and manner.

 

No, while I say it seems a warm up for his MGM period, I mean that in terms of the scope, the length, the period settings - it was a big step up for LeRoy, a far cry from his 70-minute crime or contemporary films that preceded it, with the exception I guess of OIL FOR THE LAMPS OF CHINA.

 

I used to call the VP/GM of WABC, not only with complaints, but more often with compliments. I like to think that I had a bit to do with their going back to running credits at the beginning, it was a big issue for me and I even gathered a petition.

 

Both Richard L. Beesmeyer and John O. Gilbert his successor actually took the calls from a 15-year-old viewer - probably because my voice was so deep by this point that I sounded like Ray Danton.

 

Years later, I got to meet Mr. Gilbert when he moved out to Colorado and managed a TV station there while in semi-retirement. The company that I worked for repped his station and I used to issue tons of weekly info pieces in addition to being programming advisor. He called me to say he was coming to NYC and wanted to meet me as my name sounded familiar.

 

When I told him of our previous contacts, he said "Now I remember that voice, you should be doing voiceover work."

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}Tony Curtis must have also liked ANTHONY ADVERSE. He got his screen first name from that film.

 

 

That's interesting, I had not heard that before. I knew he was a film buff, going back to his youth, nice to know of another fan of the film.

 

 

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I'll never understand some of the technical issues of this board, I don't even know how to post photos!

 

The book AA is even longer and more dense than the film. I agree with you -- though I never thought of it that way -- that Warner Brothers may have kept in the social issues that appealed to them.

 

Steffi Duna does seethe with sexuality! I love all the character actors in the film. In the smaller roles, Rafaela Ottiano has a wonderful bit part. And one of my favorite lines is Gale Sondergaard's to Claude Rains: "You're so wise, and so clever, but I know something that would kill you, if you knew..." Gale of course won the first Oscar ever awarded for Best Supporting Actress for Anthony Adverse.

 

 

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Photos are easy. Just put an exclamation point down.

 

Then once you've found your image, hover your mouse over it and right click to bring up the menu item "copy image location."

 

 

Now paste that right after the exclamation point, no spaces.

 

 

Now, follow that with another exclamation point.

 

 

Thus, this link http://pics.filmaffinity.com/Anthony_Adverse-546410131-large.jpg

 

 

With an exclamation point fore and aft becomes this (with apologies to "Edmund Gween"):

 

 

Anthony_Adverse-546410131-large.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I'm a novice to this scheduling business, so don't laugh. I just figured if I came up with a schedule for a tribute to Mervyn LeRoy myself maybe the TCM programmers would use it. It has the advantage of:

1. Filling up 24 hours for 5 days in months where you need a theme to fill out - for example - 5 consecutive Tuesdays.

2. Touches 40 years of films - 1929 - 1968.

3. My schedule uses only material already owned by TCM's parent company making it inexpensive.

4. LeRoy's well known films are very well known indeed making for 5 primetime rounds of unobscure films.

 

The films I omitted from definitive inclusion:

Too Young To Marry (1931) - belongs to Warner Bros. but restoration status is unknown

Tonight or Never (1931) - A Samuel Goldwyn production but has been restored. Was on DVD, now out of print.

Wake Me When It's Over (1960)- Fox - restoration status unknown

Devil at Four O'Clock (1961) - On DVD by Sony, so it is in a showable state.

Moment To Moment (1965) - Was on VHS by Universal, current restoration state unknown.

Any one of these, if affordable, could be substituted for one that LeRoy did direct but for which he had no printed credits.

My schedule is roughly chronological. I don't know how the TCM programmers feel about that.

 

 

 

FIVE DAY 24 HOUR TRIBUTE TO MERVYN LEROY

 

 

 

PRIMETIME - DAY 1

Little Caesar (1931) 8PM-9:30PM

High Pressure (1932) 9:30-11PM

Three On a Match (1932) 11PM-12:15AM

Hard To Handle (1933) 12:15AM-1:45AM

I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (1933) 1:45AM-3:30AM

 

 

 

OVERNIGHT/DAYTIME

Broadway Babies (1929) 3:30AM-5AM

Playing Around (1930) 5AM-6:15AM

Show Girl in Hollywood (1930) 6:15AM-7:45AM

Numbered Men (1930) 7:45AM-9AM

Top Speed (1930) 9AM-10:15AM

Gentleman's Fate (1931) 10:15AM-11:45AM

Broadminded (1931) 11:45AM-1PM

Local Boy Makes Good (1931) 1PM-2:15PM

Heart of New York (1932) 2:15PM-3:30PM

Two Seconds (1932) 3:30PM-4:45PM

Big City Blues (1932) 4:45PM-6PM

Elmer The Great (1933) 6PM-7:15PM

FILLER

 

DAY 2

-----

PRIMETIME

Five Star Final (1931) 8PM-9:30PM

Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) 9:30-11:15PM

Heat Lightning (1934) 11:15PM-12:30AM

Tugboat Annie (1933) 12:30AM-2AM

Hi Nellie (1934) 75/90 2AM-3:30AM

 

 

 

OVERNIGHT AND DAYTIME

The World Changes (1933) 3:30AM-5:15AM

Happiness Ahead(1934) 5:15AM-6:45AM

Sweet Adeline (1934) 6:15AM-7:45AM

Oil For the Lamps of China 97/105 7:45AM-9:30AM

Page Miss Glory (1935) 9:30AM-11:15AM

I Found Stella Parrish (1935) 11:15AM-12:45PM

Anthony Adverse (1936) 12:45-3:15PM

Three Men on a Horse (uncredited/ no other director listed) (1936) 3:15PM-4:45PM

King and the Chorus Girl (uncredited/no other director listed) (1936) 4:45PM-6:30PM

6:30-8PM <--- ROOM FOR "TONIGHT OR NEVER" (1931) IN THIS ROTATION (80 minutes long)

 

DAY 3

-----

PRIMETIME

They Wont Forget (uncredited/no other director listed) (1937) 94/105 8:00PM-9:45PM

Wizard of Oz (1939) (producer/uncredited director with 3 others, only Victor Fleming credited) 9:45PM-11:30PM

Waterloo Bridge (1940) 108/120 11:30AM-1:30AM

Johnny Eager (1942) 107/120 1:30AM-3:30AM

 

 

 

OVERNIGHT & DAYTIME

Fools For Scandal (1938) 3:30AM-5AM

Escape (1940) 5AM-6:45AM

Blossoms inthe Dust (1941) 6:45AM-8:30AM

Unholy Partners (1941) 8:30AM-10:15AM

Random Harvest (1942) 10:15AM-12:30PM

Madam Curie (1943) 12:30PM-2:45PM

Thirty Seconds Over TOkyo (1944) 2:45PM-5:15PM

Without Reservations (1946) 5:15PM-7:15PM

FILLER

 

DAY 4

-----

Little Women (1949) 8-10:15PM

East Side West Side (1949) 10:15M-12:15AM

Quo Vadis (1951) 12:15AM-3:15AM

 

 

 

OVERNIGHT & DAYTIME

Desire Me (uncredited, but then so are all the other directors) (1947) 3:15AM-5AM

Homecoming (1948) 5AM-7AM

Any Number Can Play (1949) 7AM-9AM

Lovely To Look At (1952) 9-10:45AM

Million Dollar Mermaid (1952) 10:45AM-12:45PM

Latin Lovers (1953) 12:45PM-2:45PM

Rose Marie (1954) 2:45PM-4:45PM

Strange Lady in Town (1955) 4:45PM-6:45PM

6:45PM - 8:00PM <-ROOM FOR TOO YOUNG TO MARRY IN THIS ROTATION (58 minutes long)

 

DAY 5

-----

PRIMETIME

Mister Roberts (1955) 8-10:15PM

Bad Seed (1956) 10:15-12:30AM

No Time For Sergeants (1958) 12:30-2:45AM

Green Berets (uncredited - listed on director credits with John Wayne) (1968) 2:45AM-5:15AM

 

 

 

OVERNIGHT & DAYTIME

Toward the Unknown (1956) 5:15AM-7:15AM

Home Before Dark (1958) 7:15AM-9:45AM

FBI Story (1959) 9:45AM-12:15PM

Majority of One (1961) 12:15-3PM

Gypsy (1962) 3PM-5:30PM

Mary Mary (1963) 5:30PM-7:45PM

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