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Tortilla Flat?


Sepiatone
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Or TORTILLA FLATULENCE?

 

 

 

I never DID see this before, and as much as I love Steinbeck, never got around to reading the book. I don't know how much of the book one can get out of this movie, but C'MON!

 

 

 

Tracy, Garfield and Lamarr as MEXICANS?? My wife thought that the producers didn't even TRY hard enough. And if THEY weren't bad enough, they went even FURTHER down the road of outrageous with:

 

 

 

John Qualen, Allan Jenkins and even SHELDON LEONARD as Mexicans!

 

 

 

HOO boy! HEE-hee-hee, HAW-haw-haw!!

 

 

 

Listen, I don't care HOW "great" you all say their performances were. Common decency, even in those times, should have told them to pass this job up. They could have at least copped ANTHONY QUINN for a small role to give it SOME creedence. Hehehehehe...

 

 

 

Sepiatone

 

Edited by: Sepiatone on Oct 12, 2012 4:14 PM

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I agree with you Sepiatone regarding the casting of "Tortilla Flat" but that is what Hollywood did back in those days. The studios used "white" actors to portray other nationalities and they "Hollywood" had little regard for the authenticity of performances in the film.

 

Hollywood in the 30's 40's and even in the 50's to some extent, was concerned with only selling tickets to the "white" ticket buyers.

 

Katherine Hepburn is another "strange" piece of casting in "Dragon Seed."

katherine_hepburn.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks

Lori

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Tortilla Flat has the best animal scene ever: the dogs having a religious vision. Frand Morgan is brilliant in his role as Pirate. The casting doesn't bother me. Some actors are good, some merely ok. Similar to Juarez, or For Whom the Bell Tolls, with Ingrid Bergman as a Spaniard.

 

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Maybe someone can answer a question for me.

 

In all my many years of traveling to Mexico, I've never heard the word Paisano used by any Mexican. Their word for friend, companion, and neighbor is generally amigo (amiga specifically for a female).

 

However, down in El Paso, TX, (across the border from Juarez, Mexico) there is a major street named Paisano, and of course the people in Tortilla Flat are called Paisanos (rather than Mexicans or amigos).

 

While growing up I always heard the word paisano used in reference to Italians (especially in old movies about Italians), with this word being the equivalent of the Mexican word amigo.

 

So, does anyone know the reason for this discrepancy? Did Italians mix with Mexicans in old Monterey or Carmel and El Paso, or was Paisano and old fashioned word used by Mexicans, that is no longer being used by them?

 

Another thing that confuses me about this film is that Spencer Tracy seems to be using the same accent that he used when he was playing a Portuguese man in Captains Courageous.

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I'm so glad somebody brought this up. Sheldon Leonard is no doubt the worst choice to play a Mexican, followed by Allan Jenkins. As it is Spencer Tracy's month, I keep seeing him in roles he was just not meant for. Not that he isn't good, it's just that his features are not suited for a lot of parts he played. That's what I think anyway. I can't find fault with John Garfield's performance. He's always good, no matter what.

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Live and learn, I never woulda known, if not for Wiki.

 

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_Spanish_%27paisano%27_in_Italian

 

I thought it was strictly an Italian word, like goomah.

 

But Sheldon, a Mexican? He does Italian well, but Mexican? Did you know Chuck Lorre pays homage to Mr. Leonard with the characters Sheldon and Leonard on his show? He was a *very* talented man.

 

Still and all, I've never seen TF, and did want to see it. Oh well.

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Monterey and Carmel, CA, are very old towns, and in fact they are old Spanish towns (European Spanish, not Mexican). In other words, people first arrived by ship from Spain, and not overland from Mexico. So it might be an old Spanish word from Spain.

 

While all Spanish-English dictionaries usually show only ONE Spanish language, there are actually many, with many different countries and regions in Latin America using a lot of different words. Many are old Spanish words, but some are words from other languages.

 

For example, the difference between cigaro and cigarrilo for cigarette. And other slang words that I can't remember.

 

Also, in Mexico, many double words are slurred together, turning two different short words into one long word. In much the same way that Germans will put two separate words together to make one long word.

 

But, the Mexican slurring of words tends to be used when Mexicans learn English, and it causes them to speak improper English, with words slurred together that we Americans never slur together.

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Here's ANOTHER factor, Fred; My wife was born in Laredo, Texas. She's of Mexican descent, but grew up speaking a dialect of Spanish called "Tex Mex". And while most Tejano's can understand most of the Spanish spoken by true south-of-the-border Mexicans, and those Mexicans can understand most Tex Mex, a lot of Tejanos find difficulty with the Spanish spoken in other Latin American countries. My wife can understand the lyrics in any Mariachi song, but has difficulty with Cuban, Puerto Rican and other Central American dialects. Get into South America(Columbia, Argentina, Chile etc.), and she's pretty much lost. Though it all sounds much the same to us "Whettoes", she claims the accents vary much like the accents in North America; ie: Southern, New England and Midwestern. And actually, those Southern accents vary from state to state!

 

 

Being of Eastern European ancestry, I'm always kind of tickled when I hear that all encompassing "Esperanto" accent used by American actors in all those '40's war and espionage movies. And after living nine years in Southwest Detroit, amid tons of Mexican and other Hispanic immigrants, those accents in *Tortilla Flat* are FAR from being "spot on"! I mean, HOW much more would it have cost to get a VOCAL COACH?? Even back then Mexican Americans went to the movies.

 

 

Sepiatone PS: Yeah, I too, was waiting for Tracy to call Garfield "Leetle Feesh!"

 

 

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A funny aside; My wife grew up speaking "Tex Mex", and didn't start to learn English until just before she started school. She wished to be able to speak and read English better, and thought the best way to accomplish it was to read books. So she decided to check out some books from the little classroom library in her second grade class.

 

 

What was funny that, because she was attracted to the pictures, the books she took out were all DR. SUESS!

 

 

I crack up everytime I think of it!

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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Katina Paxinou, a classically trained Greek actress, deservedly won an Oscar for her performance as Pilar, a Spanish woman, in For Whom the Bell Tolls. It's almost condescending to imply, with hindsight, that it's okay for certain actors to have played certain nationalities and ethnicities, but not others. Today, there is a different sensibility. But I don't think we should apply our current model to the films of the past. If you want to do that, you can go way beyond casting with that sort of argument, thereby reducing the films we love to a pile of rubble.

 

 

 

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*After living nine years in Southwest Detroit, amid tons of Mexican and other Hispanic immigrants------Sepiatone*

 

Inquiring minds want to know if you preferred.................*Mexican Village, Xochimilco, El Zocalo, El Comal or Taqueria Mi Pueblo? Or perhaps some other haunt?*

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Raquel, Just about a block down Bagley from Xochimilco is another place called MEXICAN TOWN, which is just as good as Xochi's, if not often BETTER. Their FLAUTAS are the best! But it's getting hard to find good TAMALES. LA GLORIA used to have the best, but lately they've had more masa than meat, and are too dry. We have to wait until my sister-in-law gets around to making them. But we DO make the trip to LUNA'S BAKERY for the Mexican bread and empanadas. Luna's also sells some very good chorizo.

 

 

 

You seem to have a pretty good knowledge of the eateries in the area. What's up with that? From around there? Have family there? Or what?

 

 

 

Sepiatone

 

Edited by: Sepiatone on Oct 13, 2012 4:30 PM

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> {quote:title=RaquelVixen wrote:}{quote}*After living nine years in Southwest Detroit, amid tons of Mexican and other Hispanic immigrants------Sepiatone*

>

> Inquiring minds want to know if you preferred.................*Mexican Village, Xochimilco, El Zocalo, El Comal or Taqueria Mi Pueblo? Or perhaps some other haunt?*

 

 

La Fuente de Elena, and for tamales, Tamaleria Nuevo Leon. Best market, La Colmena. :)

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I like TORTILLA FLAT the movie. In some ways I think it is full of racist stereotypes but I am not sure if that is MGM's fault or Steinbeck's. Of course, that is not why I like it. I think it appeals to me because the performances are so good and because it's a satiric slice of a rotten American pie.

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Tortillas can be made from corn OR flour. Corn tortillas have their place...but flour tortillas are more versitile. It's hard to sop up your picadello with a corn tortilla, but flour tortillas make for disasterous tostadas. Flautas and enchiladas MUST use corn, or you wind up with a pan of slop.

 

 

So YES, flour tortillas ARE real tortillas, too.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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

> So YES, flour tortillas ARE real tortillas, too.

>

>

 

IMO, flour tortillas are an abomination, invented when people couldn't get masa to make real tortillas. IOW, they are revisionist norteno* crap... :)

But this thread is about a film, not tortillas, so I'll shut up.

 

*If anyone can tell me how to get a tilde over that second n, I'll do it...

 

Edited by: ValentineXavier on Oct 14, 2012 8:33 PM

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> *If anyone can tell me how to get a tilde over that second n, I'll do it...

 

You mean an ? or an ??

 

If you've got a Windows PC, you should be able to do it by holding down one of the ALT keys and typing 0209 (for the ?) or 0241 (for the ?) on the number pad of your keyboard.

 

Alternatively, you should have a character map utility somewhere in the system utilities that has all the foreign characters, which would enable you to type the ? or the ? in S?, se?or. (I suppose you could memorize all the alt codes, which are the Unicode code points.)

 

The one other alternative is to load the Spanish keyboard layout, which with Windows would give you the opportunity to switch between keyboard layouts. (I've got three keyboard layouts installed: standard English QWERTY, Russian, and a "Czech" layout which has all the Central European characters, most importantly the German characters. So I can use that to write about Karlheinz B?hm or Milo? Forman.)

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