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TomJH

Bogart Vs. Cagney Vs. Robinson

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Tom, we agree here. I also love those early Cagney films for all the reasons you stated. I admit I never really notice their production values much until I started watching them with my wife a few years back. First she is Italian and while she has spoken English for decades it can be difficult for her when the actors are talking so fast. So we were watching a few of these early Cagney films and she was like 'wow, what did I just experience?,,, I'm not sure I was really following what was going on, oh, and I turned away for a few seconds, and boom, the movie was over!'.

 

Angels with Dirty Faces is a great example of a first rate production with Cagney as the star. We get that same full of energy Cagney, but the pace is slowed down just a little and screen time is taken to add depth to the characters. You know how much I love The Strawberry Blonde. So yea, some great Cagney movies in the later part of his initial WB period.

 

 

 

 

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James Cagney was 5'8". Average height. Many leading men were shorter. I just found out Claire Dodd wasn't taller than Cagney, she was 5'6". Cagney had big hands, husky hands. Yes. the book Cagney on Cagney is excellent! Maybe those were OJ's gloves.

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I read a biography on Cagney that said he was 5'6 1/2" At least we can say with certainty that he was taller than Prince.

 

LOL

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Yeah, and not only THAT, but I'll betcha CAGNEY was never a pain in the you-know-where whenever HE flew on commercial flights!!!!

 

(...and so that's TWO he has over THAT guy!!!)

 

LOL

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A few candid photos of Edward G. Robinson

 

095ff31a-2579-4093-9499-f0c80957b556_zps

 

Eddie G. with his wife at their Beverly Hills home in 1934

 

brc185.jpg

 

At a costume party with his wife and Basil Rathbone

 

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On the set of Key Largo. Eddie, what big feet you have.

 

Candid-RobinsonampMorgan_zps3f5e7aaf.jpg

 

With Frank Morgan. More than just friends? ;)

 

ca0e7b09-3091-4905-8b6a-33fcdb872cc6_zps

 

Hollywood Royalty: Robinson, Frank Sinatra, Mary Livingstone, Jack Benny and someone in the middle just glad to be there

 

candid-robinson2_zpsa0a8aefa.jpg

 

Edward G. Robinson, Art Collector

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> {quote:title=crazyblonde7 wrote: (REGARDING "CASABLANCA") : }{quote}Y...ep, Dargo I meant the movie. Too boring for me. I rather watch a Glenn Ford movie.

crazyblonde, I have no problem with whether people like or dislike the same things I do, that is their right, both to have an opinion that differs from my own, and to express it.

I also kind of admire your courage, because that's what it would take to come out and say you "hate" one of the most beloved classic films of all time, especially to say it on a classic movie discussion forum.

But when someone dislikes something that I care about, I always want to know "why". I am not challenging their opinion, I just want to understand it.

Whenever I post here that I like or disilike a film or actor or director, I always try to provide some kind of explanation as to WHY I feel that way.

 

Anyone can say they "like" or "hate" a film, but what can be productive or at least interesting is if they provide articulate reasons why they feel that way. (I don't just mean "I've never liked Humphrey Bogart". Not that you gave that as a reason for not liking *Casablanca* , I'm just citing it as an unsatisfactory "reason" to give for disliking the film.)

If as you say it's "too boring for you", would you mind specifying the "boring" parts? All of it? The middle? In what way is it boring? It's hard for me to grasp this, as I feel there's never one second of boredom in it. I'm not trying to be difficult, honestly, I'm just genuinely curious to know in what way you find the movie "boring".

Also, it has to be a better reason than just "Oh, it's just so popular, I'm sick of it." That's like if someone said they "hate" the final movement of Beethoven's 9th symphony. It does get played to death, but that's not Beethoven's fault. It's still a great piece of music, just as *Casablanca* , despite its over-exposure, is still a great movie.

 

 

So, I am genuinely interested to hear why you "hate" *Casablanca*. I'm all ears -uh, "eyes". (for reading what you have to say.)

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EDWARD G. ROBINSON was an unappreciated actor. I thought he was fantastic in 'Double Indemnity'. It is unbelievable that he Never received an Academy Award, (other then an Honourary Award 2 mos. after his death), which is very sad !

 

Twink

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>So, I am genuinely interested to hear why you "hate" Casablanca. I'm all ears -uh, "eyes". (for reading what you have to say.)

 

Yep, and I'll be sittin' behind this here keyboard o' mine sportin' big ol' Eddie Cantor "Banjo Eyes" myself, 'cause I'm ALSO interested in knowin' our friend cb7's reasons for her "hate" of this film.

 

(...so Blondie, what's the score here, huh?)

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Twinkee, I guess all Robinson fans feel that way.

 

What is tragic about Edward G. Robinson, however, is how his career was severely impacted by his left leaning politics and he was blackballed during the '50s. There he was, at the top of his game in late 1947, preparing for his role as Johnny Rocco in Key Largo. Just three years later he was finding it increasingly difficult to find employment in Hollywood.

 

Name the great roles and films Robinson made after 1948. Well, there's a reason you can't and it was as a result of the same McCarthy hysteria that ruined so many other lives in Hollywood (and, according to some, lead to John Garfield's death).

 

What really frightened a lot of Hollywood insiders about the political attacks on Robinson was that, unlike the Hollywood Ten, who were sent to jail, many of whom had been Communist at some time, Robinson was no political radical. And he sure as heck he was not a Communist.

 

But he had been a major '30s and '40s political activist who sincerely hated fascism and Hitler and was very open about that. After the war, in particular, though, some politicians smelled Communism in someone like Robinson who had fought as best as he could with rallies against Hitler.

 

Robinson, as a result, went through a career purgatory in which he was only cast in Bs in the '50s. It wouldn't be until an arch Hollywood conservative like Cecil B. DeMIlle cast him in The Ten Commandments in 1956 that some of the light began to appear the end of the career tunnel for Eddie G.. Even then, though, he still wasn't getting the old strong roles than use to be the case for him. And, outside of The Cincinnatti Kid, he never really would again.

 

My knowledge of this period on Robinson's career is near to zero, outside of what I've just written. If anyone wants to see a more in-depth description of how Hollywood turned its back on this great actor (as it did on so many others during those frightened times), here's a link to a chapter from Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics, by Steven J. Ross:

 

http://tfm.usc.edu/autumn-2011/little-caesar-and-the-mccarthyist-mob

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Thank you, finance. I had forgotten to reply to that "bit of luck" about Bogie's career.

 

(...yep, as I've stated MANY times around here, the old "Stone Face" Raft could NOT act worth a damn...as ANYONE not taken with his "tough guy" act, his sharp angled facial features and his ability to dance the "Bolero" HAS to recognize UNLESS they're BLIND!!!!)

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missw--you didn't ask me, mainly because I've never stated it on this board, but I'm another person who doesn't really like Casablanca either. And it is mainly because of Bogart. For one, I could not understand why Ilsa would ever go for someone like Rick, when her husband has so much more substance, except at the end. I don't see chemistry between Bergman and Bogart so I don't buy their love story.

 

Having said that, one doesn't really have to explain why something that's popular doesn't speak to them. Sometimes, it just doesn't.

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I am also not a big fan of CASABLANCA, for many reasons. One which I have expressed is that there is far too much discussion about "letters of transit", the technicalities of which are of little interest to me.

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And btw Tom, seeing as how the conversation about Eddie has once again been turned to his unfortunate "crucifixion" during the HUAC years, I will say the following yet again here...

 

While it IS probably "easy for me to say now" the following, I will ONCE AGAIN say that the ONE thing Eddie did which I find somewhat objectionable is that during his testimony to those morons sittin' on that HUAC committee, not ONCE while he was denying his involvement in any "Communist conspiracy" did he EVER tell those morons that they had NO freakin' idea what "TRUE AMERICANISM" is! And that what THEY were doing there was about as UN-American as what that OTHER freakin' moron sittin' on his fat butt in Moscow, one Uncle Joe Stalin, was doin' during the same time TOO!

 

(...'cause THAT'S what I WOULD have told those freakin' morons...yep, supply 'em with a little "lecture" while testifyin'!!!!)

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Why even pit the three of them against one another? They were all great. Watched "Kiss tomorrow goodbye" last night. Not a great film but Cagney's death scene packed a wallop. Personallly I've always been a big Bogart fan but Robinson may have been the better actor. Think of "Double Indemnity" where he played decent and then "Key Largo" 4 years later when he was a real heel. Claire Trevor singing "Moanin' low" so she could get a drink... melodramatic and not especially well acted on her part though she did get the Oscar. Cagney in "White Heat" now that is a great film. By the way whatever happened to Barbara Payton gotta wikipedia thar broad.

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> {quote:title=helenbaby wrote:}{quote}missw-...

>

> ... one doesn't really have to explain why something that's popular doesn't speak to them. Sometimes, it just doesn't.

>

Of course a person doesn't "have to" explain anything. I thought I was quite respectful in my wording of my post to crazyblonde as to inquiring why she doesn't like the film. I'm just sincerely curious.

I just think, on a forum whose purpose is to discuss movies, it is not inappropriate for me to ask someone why they like a film or why they do not like it.

Personally, I never mind if people want to know why I have an opinion of something - I don't mind in the least explaining the reasons for how I feel about it. And if there are no concrete reasons, it's just an emotional thing that you can't explain, ok, fine. I guess. But I figure one should at least try. Sometimes it's just a matter of giving something you've always taken for granted a little thought. Someitmes people don't know why they like or dislike something till they stop and think about it.

 

ps: For example, you gave some perfectly understandable reasons for why you don't care for the film. I happen to not feel that way myself, but I do appreciate hearing your point of view about it.

 

ps 2: Although now that I think about it, I have to say, Bogart's character delivers "substance" in spades by the film's conclusion. He was just pretending not to have any throughout most of the movie.

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Jul 15, 2013 6:05 PM

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Yep, once again, EXACTLY MissW!

 

And sooooo, as I've previously stated, here I sit waitin' to see at least ONE reason why I should consider the MOVIE "Casablanca" as "boring" by ANYBODY...

 

cantor.jpg

 

LOL

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Dargo, I hope you feel better for having had your vent. However, being practical, lecturing politicians of whom Hollywood producers were afraid was not likely to revive a politically tarnished film actor's film career.

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YEAH, thanks Tom! I DO in fact feel much better now!

 

LOL

 

(...though I STILL say a good little "lecture" to those morons would at least made ME feel better about myself given the same circumstances...and as I'm SURE you've come to know, my "edit button" isn't used very often, and so of course there IS always the possibly that I WOULD have done that, ya know!) ;)

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Interesting viewpoint, crazyblonde7.

 

As handsome as Ford was, and he was, and as unappealing as Henreid was, and he was, Bogey melted the screen in his scenes with Bergman, so to me, that's what made Casablanca so wonderful. If an actor in a classically classic movie was good AND he had SAAM, that made the movie for me.

 

To each his own, as they say. I know, not in here, but they do say it out there. :)

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Oh, and Tom, as you might have ALSO guessed, I also can project a rather BOOMING VOICE when I feel I need to...such as say when possibly attempting to speak OVER some morons bangin' their little gavels on their desks.

 

(...I mean, why the heck you ya think I use all these freakin' uppercase letters around here so often...uh huh, it's 'cause I TALK just like I TYPE!!!)

 

LOL

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Oh, YEAH(!!!), Dargo? Well, you're not the ONLY ONE!!! that can type in UPPER CASE!!!! (notice those exclamations points, TOO, for extra emphasis?) around HERE.

 

RIGHT NOW I'm hitting my *KEYBOARD SO HARD THAT I MIGHT BREAK THE DARNED THING*!

 

So I better stop. But, hey, now I feel better too.

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Eeh! You Canucks will NEVER be able to get the hang of it!

 

Nope! Ya BETTER just leave all this big loud-mouthed kinda talk to us YANKS!!!

 

(...we're MUCH better at it, ya know!!!) ;)

 

LOL

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So why would anyone ask why some may consider Casablanca a boring film?

 

Okay, maybe not the film. But does anybody, seriously, think that Paul Henreid's Victor Lazslo is an interesting character?

 

Okay, okay, I give him credit for leading a rousing chorus of La Marseilles almost bringing down the rafters of Rick's Cafe in the process. A great scene, I admit.

 

But the character himself: so noble, so self-effacing, so ready to self-sacrifice, so . . . so . . . what's the word? . . . Oh, yes, so bloody BORING!!!!

 

 

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*Eeh! You Canucks will NEVER be able to get the hang of it!*

 

Dargo, I have far more upper case words in my last post to you than you did in yours, so I win.

 

Canada 1, U.S. 0.

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