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Alan Ladd for SOTM in September 2013


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Now here's a big wish of mine that will probably never be fulfilled. The month will mark 100 years since his birth and it seems as if I haven't seen some of his films in 50 years. Yes, he got a day in August a few years ago, one that included his tiniest of bits in CITIZEN KANE as well as JOAN OF PARIS and CAPTAIN CAUTION.

 

Meanwhile, ask yourself when was the last time you saw his starring vehicles such as:

 

Salty O'Rourke

China

And Now Tomorrow

Wild Harvest

Hell on Frisco Bay

Two Years Before the Mast

OSS

Beyond Glory

Saigon

Red Mountain

Thunder in the East

Saskatchewan

Desert Legion

 

Anyway, I'm looking for feedback, pro or con, maybe we can get something going, maybe not, but all thoughts are welcome. Yes, I know that MCA/Universal controls most of these, but there's no harm in trying.

 

By the way, two of these films have Loretta Young. In their first pairing, CHINA, she was the first name on the credits. Their next one together, AND NOW TOMORROW had Ladd's name first.

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I am totally on-board with this. So consider mine a major 'yes' vote.

 

I would love to see one evening devoted specifically to his work in noir.

 

By the way, your original list omits BOTANY BAY. I happen to like this one, and fortunately, it's available on Netflix streaming.

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The only reason that I left off BOTANY BAY was because I've seen it within the last decade so it didn't strike me as being as "rare" as some of the others. Certainly I would want it included, they could pair it up with TWO YEARS BEFORE THE MAST, another nautical John Farrow adventure.

 

In fact, Farrow is to the sea as William Wellman was to the sky. That may have had to do with his serving in the Navy during WWII, Wellman served in the Lafayette Escadrille during "the war to end all wars."

 

One that I did forget was CHICAGO DEADLINE, something of a cross between LAURA and the real-life Black Dahlia case. I haven't seen that one since 1971.

 

It's probably been more like 30 years since I've seen BRANDED or CAPTAIN CAREY, USA and I'm a big time Ladd fan who would have taped them if I had the chance.

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I would love to see Alan Ladd as star of any month. There's a problem though with TCM programmers. Take a look over the last year or two. 99% of the Paramount films they show have been shown before. Premieres of Paramount films on TCM practically DON'T exist.

 

 

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Yes, that's a big time problem since MCA doesn't seem to have too much interest in vintage product, either their own or the Paramount titles that they control. Yes, the monster films and Abbott and Costello are easily available, but you would never know that Jeff Chandler ever existed based upon the scarcity of his films.

 

 

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>Premieres of Paramount films on TCM practically DON'T exist.

 

You are so correct about this.

 

A few years ago, it was the case that message board posters clamored for more films from Fox, because those were often under-represented on TCM. But a lot of Fox films have been shown on TCM in 2012.

 

Universal films, especially in the horror genre, have gradually found their way to TCM.

 

But it is the Paramount catalogue of classic films that are most often missing in action. Parmount is _the_ most neglected studio on TCM.

 

This is why we seldom see Alan Ladd or Dorothy Lamour on this channel. And this is why Cass Daley is not known and Betty Hutton's films are collecting dust and Veronica Lake is seldom shown, and why Paulette Goddard's films and Cecil B. DeMille's films are nowhere to be found on TCM...need I continue?

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A couple of months ago, on the It's a Photo Joke thread, I posted a picture of Alan Ladd and Humphrey Bogart today. I didn't identify either actor by name because I assumed that it wasn't necessary. A long time poster on these boards surprised me by asking who the actor was with Bogart. And it was a good, recognizable image of Ladd.

 

It made me wonder she how little known Alan Ladd's work is today. Yes, I would love to see a tribute to Ladd but I'm not holding my breath, particularly regarding his rarely seen Paramounts. Even Hell on Frisco Bay, a Jaguar Production released through Warners, hasn't seen the light of day in many years, to the best of my knowledge.

 

I've been very disappointed that so very few Paramounts are shown on TCM. A few months ago, on a Bob's Picks night, Robert Osborne made a point of including Lucky Jordan specifically because it was a rarely seen Ladd film. I had hoped it would lead to other Ladd Paramounts on TCM. Except for replays, however, of This Gun for Hire, Glass Key or Blue Dahlia, that's it. Even Shane doesn't seem to come on the channel anymore.

 

Alan Ladd's film career has largely fallen by the wayside, few people knowing him for anything outside of Shane or, perhaps, This Gun for Hire. And that will undoubtedly include many viewers of TCM, excluding those with very long memories.

 

It would be great if TCM could correct this injustice. Considering Universal's attitude towards its older properties, however, it's not too realistic to expect it. Excluding the films of Bob Hope and perhaps one or two others, that seems to be the fate of a lot of the Paramount stars of the studio days. But Ladd, since he was such a major star at one time, is particularly noteworthy is this respect.

 

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It really is sad to think of Ladd as a somewhat forgotten star of the past today. I still consider his "Great Gatsby" the best.I would love to see some kind of tribute to him, but I don't see that happening because most the "suits" who run the studios now have no real connection to the history of the stars or the studios back then...

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

> Why doesnt MCA want to make some money renting it's catalog of old Paramounts, instead of letting them collect dust? I dont get it........

 

It may be a case of thinking that the cost to upgrade the prints isn't worth the likely return on investment. I do recall that when TCM ran LUCKY JORDAN that the print looked rather drab, probably made from an old 16mm print and with no attempt to clean it up. Similar goes for REMEMBER THE NIGHT, although since the first airing on TCM, the film has been restored and looks magnificent.

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If the idiots would think creativiely. Get some copies cleaned up so TCM can rent them. People then see them. People see them again. The movies are put up for sale in the TCM shop (and elsewhere). People buy them. Money is made...........

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> {quote:title=TopBilled wrote:}{quote}The print TCM is using for LUCKY JORDAN is one that was made for television syndication, so it definitely has not been restored. REMEMBER THE NIGHT was restored because there was a lucrative Christmas market waiting to snatch it up.

I remember when I first read that the film was being put out on DVD and I thought to myself that it had better be cleaned up because what TCM aired looked as if it came from one of those "Mill Creek 50 Mega Packs" that one sees in the discount bins. It does look nice, but I don't want it so much that I'll pay what they're asking for it.

 

Coincidentally, I see that MCA did issue a DVD of the 1937 *Easy Living* a few years ago, something I uncovered by accident when looking up the title of the later film of the same title which aired recently. I suppose I should thank heaven for small favors, but I'm ordering this one today since I can get it for 8 dollars.

 

 

 

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