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Original Production Documentaries


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After watching the wonderful Steve McQueen documentary tonight, and the even better Errol Flynn documentary a couple of months ago I couldn't help but think of a few other actors that I would love to see the TCM treatment trotted out for. Burt Lancaster, was the first one that came to my mind. This guy lead an incredible life from Hell's Kitchen, to the Circus, to Hollywood. Also it would be nice to see something on John Gilbert too. It's probably highly unlikely that Edward Brophy, or Beryl Mercer will get one but here's to hoping. Anybody you'd like to see?

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To nickdimeo, I agree all the way on these superb TCM docu's!

& it's ironic you bring up last months also excellent: Errol Flynn-(1909-59) documentary. Because it may have been a wee-bit better-(NOTE: However, Steve McQueen was my childhood Hero & I reckon' it also is whom they are covering. This newest one did leave quite a bit out though.)

 

Long before there was a TCM, I started taping these-(I actually prfer them to the flix!)

 

W.C. Fields: Straight Up (1987) is another absolutely superb docu-(it was on PBS) The already gone: Dudley Moore narrated it.

 

Cary Grant: A Celebration" (1986) is another, but not as well done-(no matter the star) I thinkTCM has aired that 1?

 

& I know it picked-up: "The Spencer Tracy: Legacy" (1987) (PBS) Because it was aired a couple of months ago on here. It's the one where *Kate reads aloud her letter to him, at the finale! Plus, it's even greater due to her roaming around the grounds of the somewhat still-standing: M-G-M in 1986. Which thanx to Sony, has bought out even more of it's property!?-(Moviejoe, said he visited whats left & they have actually taken down all of MGM's BP ACADEMY AWARD WINNERS & put up Columbia Pictures instead? I plan to see whats left in Culver City, before it's all-gone)

 

Another superb TCM special was on *"The King: Clark Gable" Hosted by: Liam Neeson & what made it even greater, was Neeson doing it from the former home in Encino that *Gable & Lombard owned-(actually a ranch)

It's address>4535 Tara! & surrounding it,, are condo's titled: *Gable Estates"-(very rare for whats left of Tinsel-Town in this era)

 

The "Mt. Summit" of all though is-(to me anyway) is TCM's 1992-(strangely the network started in '94?)

"M-G-M: When the Lion Roars" (6 hour docu.) Watch for this 1, it's aa MUST SAVE!!!

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to find another Beryl Mercer fan!

 

I think I first saw her when I was little, watching that Shirley Temple pic, "The Little Princess" which cemented my admiration for her and the great Sybil Jason.

 

Along with Beryl and the apoplectic Brophy, could you persuade TCM to add in a documentary on Maude Eburne, who was so great in "Poppy" and other films. I'd also enjoy seeing something on Edna May Oliver, whose life has always intrigued me. TCM did do that nice in between movie slots bit on her, with some fine commentary. And Una O'Connor would be a fine subject along with any other Abbey Theatre graduates who got in films in the US.

 

A person who I think would be a great subject for a documentary would be Jack Oakie, who was in movies for such a long time, always supplying laughs and amiable support for the stars, as the world's oldest freshman.

 

But let's face it, for a documentary they probably look for more heavyweights, so I'd nominate Jack Lemmon. Talented beyond belief, with dramatic acting chops to rival his comedic acting abilities, he could also sing, compose and play the piano beautifully, and was just wonderful in so many movies. I think his film contributions are legendary and he is deserving of a documentary.

 

Another person who I'd love to see an entire bio on, would be Gloria Grahame. From her humble early appearances in films like "It's a Wonderful Life" as Violet, to major pivotal and quintessential performances as the femme fatale in noirs like "Human Desire", along with her married life to Nick Ray, and later marriage to her stepson, she lived an incredible life. They could go into depth about her lip obsession, and exactly what kind of face tissues or cotton balls, she used to stuff in her upper lip in films, that would come out when she was kissing costarring men, to their dismay. All in all, her story would be one worth seeing...in my opinion.

 

I've enjoyed other documentaries I've seen on TCM, and particularly the one on Marlena Dietrich.

 

Your suggestions of Burt Lancaster is a good one, because of his smarts in getting his own production company and taking control of his career. I'd also enjoy seeing one on John Gilbert.

 

 

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