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Macomber Affair, Thursday, Aug. 15, 8pm EST


TomJH
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TCM will be broadcasting THE MACOMBER AFFAIR. I don't know if it is a TCM premiere, but, if not, it will still be the channel's first showing of the film in many years.

 

This tale of a bickering couple (Joan Bennett, Robert Preston) who attempt to restore their marriage by going on a safari on the African plains remains one of the most intelligent film adaptions of a Hemingway work, in this case his great short story, The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber.

 

Gregory Peck is the film's top billed star, with Zoltan Korda directing.

 

This film is well worth a view, its relative inaccessibility over the years making it an unjustly little known film to many today.

 

Set your recorders for this one. You won't be sorry you did it.

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I think this film will be a real treat for those who have never seen it, or those who haven't had a chance to view it in quite a while.

 

All three stars are effective in their roles, in my opinion, but I particularly liked Robert Preston as Macomber.

 

Again, folks, you might record this one. Who knows if TCM will show it again.

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This movie came to my attention when I saw The Four Feathers for the first time and was reading up on Zoltan Korda. I was so excited to see it scheduled! It's a hard one to come by, indeed. I'm tremendously grateful to TCM for the opportunity to finally see it. I remember reading the short story in high school, too.

 

Now I just wish the other Korda film I've long been on the lookout for, A Woman's Vengeance, had been included for Ann Blyth's day. There I go again . . . can't help being greedy. ;)

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NoraCharles, it's been a few years since I read the short story but I remember loving it. I particularly liked Hemingway's description of the wounded lion, as he lay in the bushes, waiting for . . . oops, I don't want to give too much away here.

 

I'll let the readers here watch the movie version first.

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I remember a year or two ago when one of the posters was asking about this film and it was found on *YouTube* by somebody looking for a Randolph Scott Western-this happens all the time with *YouTube.* I watched part of it but the film was too dark to really see it clearly. I'm hoping this is a better print and both the poster and I enjoy it.

 

Speaking of Westerns, if this is Gregory Peck Day, where is *The Gunfighter?* Even my grandfather, who usually hated Westerns, recommended this one. For once, we agreed.

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I would really be impressed if you told me you had the *Black Pit of Dr. M.* (Misterios de Ultratumba) dubbed in English. That's a rarity I'd like to see again. The print with the English titles is readily available, but the dubbed version is priceless!

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I have never seen THE MACOMBER AFFAIR

 

I liked it well enough. It was a little slow in some places for me. I'm a big fan of Robert Preston so I was anxious to see it for that reason.

 

I found the scene where he beat the servant about an ugly a moment as I've ever seen in a film. It was quite powerful in a way I wouldn't have expected. I found it very upsetting.

 

The print seemed to have either it's end credits or just THE END title card lopped off. It was a rather abrupt transition to Ben's wrap-up.

 

BTW - the TCM guide had a "P" next to it so I assume it was a premiere. Ben never mentioned it as being so which is often the case.

 

It's a UA release so if it was a premiere I wonder what the reasons for it being so long in coming. TCM often shows the older UA titles.

 

Yancey

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The film's last five minutes, in which Mrs. Macomber tries to justify her behaviour, is not part of Hemingway's story. Wilson changes suddenly from a cross examination of her to listening to her sympathetically.

 

I've always regarded that Hollywood wrapup as a minor blemish on an intelligent film. Watching the glee with which Joan Bennett needles her husband, and patronizes him (not to mention jumping into the sack with the great white hunter just to really rub in her contempt towards the husband) makes her a very special kind of b----h.

 

Bennett is wonderfully vindictive in those scenes, in my opinion, with a cutting edge to her dialogue delivery. Equally impressive, though is a sympathetic Robert Preston, ashamed of his public display of cowardice, and saddled with a wife who has every intention of rubbing it in.

 

Curiously, though, this film always seems to have "The End" card missing, as did this evening's print on TCM.

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TomJH said: Anyone notice that after Gregory Peck shoots the lion, when you then see an image of a real lion rolling on the ground it looks like he has a spear through him?

 

Yes, I noticed that and did think that maybe I missed some piece of action.

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I'm such a cream puff when it comes to animals, that whenever I see a cutaway shot of a real animal getting killed in a film such as this it makes me cringe a little. Hemingway would not have approved, of course, but I still liked his short story upon which this film was based very much.

 

The killing an animal for sport aspect when it comes to this film (among many many others) is one that I have to try to close one eye over. I admit, though, it is a challenge. In the case of this particular film, though, I do get caught up in the story and the group dynamic of the relationships of the three main characters.

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>In the case of this particular film, though, I do get caught up in the story and the group dynamic of the relationships of the three main characters.

 

From the very beginning, the husband showed great respect for the wife, but she was rude to him. And then when he wasn't eaten alive by the wounded lion, she got mad at him. That is the type of dame to get rid of as soon as possible. Let her go out and try to make it on her own or try to trap some other dope. Drop her, get her out of the house, and never give her a loaded gun.

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