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MovieMadness

Which actor should be Star of the Month but never will be?

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Robert Duvall was featured during Summer Under the Stars a few years ago when TCM was lucky enough to get access to The Godfather and The Godfather Part 2 for the only time in their history, so far. Doris Day got bumped for the tribute and several people who were around here then weren't too happy about it.

 

Really? I just checked the SOTM/SUTS history thread, and there wasn't any record of him on there, for some reason. I didn't think they ever bumped anyone during SUTS, but rather waited for a day in early September. I guess they had to strike when the iron was hot, in that case. (Doris Day is the perfect person to bump, I wish they did it more often, hah.)

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Yeah I know it's not on the stickie but that why I included the note for Lynn to check and update it. I'm certain that it happened and that Doris Day was bumped. It was a last minute thing because the lease for the Godfather films were last minute.

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I mentioned Balsam in my original question mostly b/c there had been talk about character actors. I wasn't sure about how far he went back in films but he *was* very popular in the 60's/70's. I just threw him in there to be somewhat inclusive of character/supporting actors. 

I had forgotten about Caan last year. I was one who didn't really think he deserved it mostly because I didn't think he was in enough A or B+ films. I think Robert Duvall would be a great choice (Hey, Boo!).

I think it's time for the DeNiro/Pacino era. I think they rate.  

 

He'd never get one but Chris Walken would be fun.

 

Eddie Albert is a great choice! So cute in that one with Lucille, Fuller Brush Girl, was it?

I've always thought of De Niro, Pacino, and Dustin Hoffman as a trio of guys that came along about the same time, and were about equal as stars.

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Yes...this is about character actors and others who should be recognized either as a Character of the Month...or as a birthday commeroation. I personally don't like any of the movies from the 70's, it was a horrible decade as far as I am concerned, from the terrible fashions to the tumultuous changes to a society I ended up not even recognizing.  But that doesn't mean we should denigrate those who participated in that era. 

 

Now no one has mentioned Ray Milland...who was in some of my favourite movies and played goodies just as well as baddies. 

 

As a thread let's not denigrate anyone let us celebrate those who make our lives more enjoyable and encourage TCM programmers to do be aware of our desires. 

 

I think Birthday's would be a great way to recognize character actors and others without ruining anyone's experience. 

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Yes...this is about character actors and others who should be recognized either as a Character of the Month...or as a birthday commeroation. I personally don't like any of the movies from the 70's, it was a horrible decade as far as I am concerned, from the terrible fashions to the tumultuous changes to a society I ended up not even recognizing.  But that doesn't mean we should denigrate those who participated in that era. 

 

Now no one has mentioned Ray Milland...who was in some of my favourite movies and played goodies just as well as baddies. 

 

As a thread let's not denigrate anyone let us celebrate those who make our lives more enjoyable and encourage TCM programmers to do be aware of our desires. 

 

I think Birthday's would be a great way to recognize character actors and others without ruining anyone's experience. 

I think Ray Milland was SOTM within the last year or two.  Correct me if I'm wrong; but I think I remember receiving the Now Playing Guide with his picture on it fairly recently. 

 

Regarding the 1970s: If it was a horrible decade based on things like fashion, current events, politics, etc. then I can't agree or disagree because I wasn't alive in the 1970s.  I love a lot of films from this time, I don't have any aversion to them.  I do agree that stars who were prolific during that decade deserve to be honored through SOTM and SUTS.  With the 1970s becoming more and more in the past, I think many of the stars during that time deserve to have more of their films shown on TCM.  It looks like TCM is moving more in that direction with the recent inclusions of Jane Fonda and Faye Dunaway on the SUTS roster. 

 

I think that TCM can start choosing more and more people whose careers may have started in the 50s but really took off in the 60s and 70s.  It seems that they're staying between a specific time frame when choosing SOTM, when I feel that there are more stars that could be chosen from.  While I don't think they need to start picking people like Johnny Depp; I do believe that it's time for some of the stars from the latter half of the 20th century to be honored.  Some ideas: Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, James Garner, Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffmann, Gene Hackman, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson...  Many of these stars appeared in classic films and many with classic actors who have been honored in the past by TCM.

(I think McQueen and Newman may have been honored in the past with SUTS days; but not SOTM.  I might be wrong though.)

 

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I think Ray Milland was SOTM within the last year or two.  Correct me if I'm wrong; but I think I remember receiving the Now Playing Guide with his picture on it fairly recently. 

 

 

Ray Milland was SOTM in April 2011.

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Deanna Durbin, but TCM won't pay the $ to broadcast her Universal films.

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I think Ray Milland was SOTM within the last year or two.  Correct me if I'm wrong; but I think I remember receiving the Now Playing Guide with his picture on it fairly recently. 

 

Regarding the 1970s: If it was a horrible decade based on things like fashion, current events, politics, etc. then I can't agree or disagree because I wasn't alive in the 1970s.  I love a lot of films from this time, I don't have any aversion to them.  I do agree that stars who were prolific during that decade deserve to be honored through SOTM and SUTS.  With the 1970s becoming more and more in the past, I think many of the stars during that time deserve to have more of their films shown on TCM.  It looks like TCM is moving more in that direction with the recent inclusions of Jane Fonda and Faye Dunaway on the SUTS roster. 

 

I think that TCM can start choosing more and more people whose careers may have started in the 50s but really took off in the 60s and 70s.  It seems that they're staying between a specific time frame when choosing SOTM, when I feel that there are more stars that could be chosen from.  While I don't think they need to start picking people like Johnny Depp; I do believe that it's time for some of the stars from the latter half of the 20th century to be honored.  Some ideas: Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, James Garner, Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffmann, Gene Hackman, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson...  Many of these stars appeared in classic films and many with classic actors who have been honored in the past by TCM.

(I think McQueen and Newman may have been honored in the past with SUTS days; but not SOTM.  I might be wrong though.)

 

Taking rock, soul, disco, and new wave together, the '70s were the best decade for music. I have more songs on my ipod from the '70s than any other decade.

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I think that TCM can start choosing more and more people whose careers may have started in the 50s but really took off in the 60s and 70s.  It seems that they're staying between a specific time frame when choosing SOTM, when I feel that there are more stars that could be chosen from.  While I don't think they need to start picking people like Johnny Depp; I do believe that it's time for some of the stars from the latter half of the 20th century to be honored.  Some ideas: Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, James Garner, Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffmann, Gene Hackman, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson...  Many of these stars appeared in classic films and many with classic actors who have been honored in the past by TCM.

(I think McQueen and Newman may have been honored in the past with SUTS days; but not SOTM.  I might be wrong though.)

 

I was looking at the SOTM and SUTS lists and all but Pacino and Nicholson have been honored under SUTS, even though their films show up regularly especially during 31 Days of Oscar. Garner has been SOTM once. Someone who isn't mentioned in these posts is Sidney Poitier. He's been Star of the Month and has been in SUTS four times.

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I wouldn't mind seeing Fred MacMurray as Star of the Month. He's had a SUTS tribute twice. But certainly there are plenty of films (different studios and different genres) for a whole month-long retrospective.

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I agree with Fred McMurray....just saw him this past weekend with Carol Lombard and didn't realize how versatile he was...very low key but a great co-star for many and mesmerizing in Double Indemity.   Had no realizaton of his versatility until I passed through my "My Three Sons"  era.  It's interesting how after seeing him in Double Indemity I never visualized him in My Three Sons again. 

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I agree with Fred McMurray....just saw him this past weekend with Carol Lombard and didn't realize how versatile he was...very low key but a great co-star for many and mesmerizing in Double Indemity.   Had no realizaton of his versatility until I passed through my "My Three Sons"  era.  It's interesting how after seeing him in Double Indemity I never visualized him in My Three Sons again. 

Yes, and I think in many ways My Three Sons was a stretch for him. He didn't really transition to family comedies until that time. And then it became his calling card. 

 

The reason I mentioned him is that I was reading a book about movie stars from Wisconsin (yes there is such a book, written by a fellow Wisconsinite) and there is a whole chapter dedicated to Fred MacMurray. I didn't realize how important his midwestern roots were to him-- he often returned to Wisconsin, visiting his family and old school friends during his Hollywood days. And in some of his movies, his characters are intentionally midwestern, sometimes there were scenes with photos of him growing up in Wisconsin. After he died, his widow June Haver and their daughters attended a special memorial and screening in his honor that was held in Beaver Dam (his hometown).

 

This particular book says MacMurray costarred with the most A-talent leading ladies of any man in Hollywood of his generation. That seems like a bit of an exaggeration but maybe not. If he was Star of the Month on TCM, we could see many of those leading ladies alongside him in the movies.

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BTW, when do you all think TCM will begin to include 1970's stars like Nicholson, Pacino, DeNiro, Hackman, Redford, Streep etc?

 

That would be the most wonderful news if TCM started doing that. We'd get some good movies for a change - certainly more than we get now.

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Yes, and I think in many ways My Three Sons was a stretch for him. He didn't really transition to family comedies until that time. And then it became his calling card. 

 

The reason I mentioned him is that I was reading a book about movie stars from Wisconsin (yes there is such a book, written by a fellow Wisconsinite) and there is a whole chapter dedicated to Fred MacMurray. I didn't realize how important his midwestern roots were to him-- he often returned to Wisconsin, visiting his family and old school friends during his Hollywood days. And in some of his movies, his characters are intentionally midwestern, sometimes there were scenes with photos of him growing up in Wisconsin. After he died, his widow June Haver and their daughters attended a special memorial and screening in his honor that was held in Beaver Dam (his hometown).

 

This particular book says MacMurray costarred with the most A-talent leading ladies of any man in Hollywood of his generation. That seems like a bit of an exaggeration but maybe not. If he was Star of the Month on TCM, we could see many of those leading ladies alongside him in the movies.

 

With regards to the question of if MacMurray costarred with the most A-talent leading ladies of any man in Hollywood;  While Bette Davis would be missing from his list,  Fred did star with most of the best talent so that comment could be on target.    I'm racking my brain to think of someone else that starred with the A-talents like Stanwyck, Kate Hepburn,  Jean Arthur, Lombard, Colbert, Ros Russell, Hayward,  Crawford and Goddard,  that ALSO did a film with Davis and I'm sure there are none  (mainly since Davis starred with a limited set of actors in her WB days).

 

Of course who are the A-talent actresses is subjective but Fred did make movies with a very impression list of actresses.   He just might top the list! 

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With regards to the question of if MacMurray costarred with the most A-talent leading ladies of any man in Hollywood;  While Bette Davis would be missing from his list,  Fred did star with most of the best talent so that comment could be on target.    I'm racking my brain to think of someone else that starred with the A-talents like Stanwyck, Kate Hepburn,  Jean Arthur, Lombard, Colbert, Ros Russell, Hayward,  Crawford and Goddard,  that ALSO did a film with Davis and I'm sure there are none  (mainly since Davis starred with a limited set of actors in her WB days).

 

Of course who are the A-talent actresses is subjective but Fred did make movies with a very impression list of actresses.   He might just might top the list! 

Yes and there were others, who were at least B+ talent that MacMurray starred with like Greer Garson, Maureen O'Hara, Lana Turner, Kim Novak, Alice Faye, Claire Trevor, Eleanor Parker, Dorothy Malone, Vera Miles and Jane Wyman (I would give her an A-).  

 

And we're not counting A talent male costars like Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart and Charlton Heston that MacMurray worked with, too.

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MacMurray had to be one of the shrewdest stars in Hollywood. It's well known that his contracts for "My Three Sons" stipulated that all of his scenes for each season be shot first. When Fred completed his work and took off, it was left to the rest of the cast to finish the episodes without him.

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I would be on board with a Fred MacMurray SOTM honor. 

 

Prior to seeing Double Indemnity, I hadn't realized how versatile MacMurray was and how prolific a film career he had prior to the late 50s.  My only previous exposure to him was him appearing as himself on an episode of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, as Steve Douglas in My Three Sons and in the Disney movies.  From these films and shows, he doesn't really make a strong impression one way or the other.  He has a pleasant demeanor and disposition and seems like a good guy. 

 

Then I saw Double Indemnity...

 

I was amazed this guy, allegedly the same Fred MacMurray, was scheming with femme fatale Barbara Stanwyck to kill her husband using a loophole in the same insurance policy he was trying to sell to the doomed husband.  Then with the insurance money, the two were going to run off together.  In this film, he was sleazy and rotten, but at the same time, seemed like he was a good guy.  I know that's a contradictory statement; but that's what I came up with.  From this film, I found that I really liked his pairings with Barbara Stanwyck.  Aside from Double Indemnity, I also liked There's Always Tomorrow.  I haven't seen Remember the Night yet and unfortunately, I didn't think much of The Moonlighter.

 

After Double Indemnity, I saw The Egg and I with Claudette Colbert.  This was a completely different side of MacMurray from the film noir I had just seen and his prior television and Disney appearances.  While he was a good guy in this film, his naïveté regarding farm work and animal care was different than the calm, cool, collected dad from My Three Sons.  I love The Egg and I for two reasons: 1) It introduced me to the hilarious Ma and Pa Kettle and 2) I gave me a new screen pairing to look out for.  I really loved the pairing of MacMurray with Colbert and hope that the upcoming Colbert SUTS will allow me to see another of their films.

 

Finally, I saw another side of MacMurray in the film he made with Errol Flynn, Dive Bomber.  In this film, it's actually MacMurray that's the hot shot, stubborn pilot.  Normally, it would seem that star Flynn would have the showier role; but in this one, it's MacMurray.  Flynn plays a doctor who works with Ralph Bellamy, another doctor, to try and invent some sort of flight suit or apparatus that will help alleviate the symptoms of altitude sickness.  Immediately in the film, MacMurray takes a disliking to Flynn as he thinks he was responsible for the death of a friend.  MacMurray is in more of a villainous role until he comes around at the end.  I thought he was excellent in more of an action type role. 

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Then I saw Double Indemnity...

 

I agree that MacMurray is both versatile and much underrated outside TCM circles, due to his lightweight TV roles.  But since you like Double Indemnity, you might also like two others from the early 50's, Borderline and Pushover.  Both show up fairly regularly on TCM.  

 

Borderline is  cop movie where MacMurray and Claire Trevor are undercover agents who don't realize that they're on the same side of the law.  Raymond Burr makes for a classic drug smuggling  villain, as he always does.  You can always depend on Raymond Burr to play the perfect dirtball.

 

Pushover is a variant of Double Indemnity, with MacMurray as a cop who lets himself be led into temptation, with Kim Novak as a gangster's moll whom MacMurray falls for, and hard.  It lacks a character comparable to Edward G. Robinson, but it's a solid noir plot that I think you'd enjoy.  I liked it as much as Double Indemnity, but that would be a definite minority opinion.

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I read somewhere once that Fred MacMurray was at one point the highest paid and one of the richest actors in Hollywood thanks to his contracts with Disney and TV's My Three Sons.

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With regards to the question of if MacMurray costarred with the most A-talent leading ladies of any man in Hollywood;  While Bette Davis would be missing from his list,  Fred did star with most of the best talent so that comment could be on target.    I'm racking my brain to think of someone else that starred with the A-talents like Stanwyck, Kate Hepburn,  Jean Arthur, Lombard, Colbert, Ros Russell, Hayward,  Crawford and Goddard,  that ALSO did a film with Davis and I'm sure there are none  (mainly since Davis starred with a limited set of actors in her WB days).

 

Of course who are the A-talent actresses is subjective but Fred did make movies with a very impression list of actresses.   He just might top the list! 

MacMurray has never been SOTM? That's a surprise. One reason he turned down the lead in SUNSET BLVD is that the size of the role as written wasn't in keeping with his star status. (The role was later expanded).

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According to the book I mentioned earlier, MacMurray was already substantially wealthy before My Three Sons, because he had wisely invested his movie earnings in real estate and cattle ranching-- after the television series ended, he continued his angus beef business and the ranch doubled as a get-away retreat for his family. Initially, he turned down My Three Sons, but was eventually persuaded to do the show because Don Fedderson would not take no for an answer and agreed to the unique filming schedule that allowed MacMurray to continue doing movies-- also MacMurray liked the idea of working with Bill Frawley (and later Bill Demarest).

 

The book says that the two films MacMurray was most proud of were DOUBLE INDEMNITY and PARDON MY PAST. Those were both screened at his hometown for the memorial tribute after his death. PARDON MY PAST was a film MacMurray produced in the mid-40s (distributed by Columbia Pictures), and it is a somewhat personal work. 

 

Here's a very nice user review found at the IMDB:

 

While Fred MacMurray had always held warm feelings for the hometown where he had always been a star, regardless of his Hollywood career, he used Pardon My Past to deliver his most direct tribute to the small Wisconsin community of Beaver Dam.

Pardon My Past was the only movie MacMurray ever produced himself. It is the story of two GIs coming back to America after World War II, heading to Beaver Dam to start a mink farm. The city is made reference to no fewer than eight times, or once every eleven minutes, in the movie.

Fred never forgot his roots, he never grew too far away from his home. He adored the friends he made and he loved the city of Beaver Dam up until the day of his death in 1991. He was truly a rarity from any era of Hollywood, and, speaking as a fellow graduate of Beaver Dam High School, we are proud to have called him our own.

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I found another surprising omission: Ronald Colman. One SUTS day, but no SOTM celebration to date. However, I'm sure he will be one day, so perhaps he's not an appropriate mention on this thread. I have no doubt that the aforementioned Fred MacMurray will get one, too.

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Again, I'm staying hopeful that maybe, one day....

 

Gloria Grahame

Virginia Mayo

Ann Blyth

Rossano Brazzi

Barry Sullivan

Ivan Dixon

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I found another surprising omission: Ronald Colman. One SUTS day, but no SOTM celebration to date. However, I'm sure he will be one day, so perhaps he's not an appropriate mention on this thread. I have no doubt that the aforementioned Fred MacMurray will get one, too.

I think they're limited with Colman, because he made several films at Paramount that are not in the Turner Library. They probably struggled to come up with enough titles for a SUTS day.

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