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Half-way through this year's SUTS-- favorite days so far...?


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Schedule-wise, I was glad John Hodiak's day was Sunday, when I can watch TCM the most, if I'm interested in the fare.  Outside of The Harvey Girls, Battleground, and Lifeboat, I wasn't familiar with a lot of his work.  The more I watched him, the more I thought he could have passed for Martin Landau's older brother or even John Travolta's dad!  Shame he died at such a young age.  I read his quote where he said he really didn't think he was acting in a lot of his films--he seemed more like himself, and that caused him to think he wasn't all that good.  I would disagree with that thought.  In the stuff I saw Sunday, he was good enough and even better. 

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Here's my favorite days, and favorite films in caps. It's a toss-up.

 

Herbert Marshall, for THE UNDERWORLD STORY, Murder!, and The Letter (1929)

Paul Muni, for Angel on My Shoulder, BLACK FURY, and Dr. Socrates (I get a kick out of this guy.)

 

And also...

Charlie Chaplin, for The Circus, The Idle Class, and the documentaries, especially the one about Adolf Hitler and the making of The Great Dictator

Jeanne Moreau, for Elevator to the Gallows, and to a lesser extent The Great Catherine

 

I can't forget, earlier in the month, I appreciated two unusual musicals that came on very early in the morning, Sweet Kitty Bellairs at the very end of Walter Pidgeon day, and Gay Purr-ee at the end of Judy Garland day. I enjoyed these so much that I must thank TCM, especially for the former because it was so odd.

 

There's only one must-see in my near future, and that's Doctor X, coming on Lee Tracy day. Perhaps not an obvious choice, but I can't wait. Oh, and The Smiling Lieutenant coming on in about forty-five minutes. It's been a good month.

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I certainly enjoyed watching TOMORROW IS FOREVER today during Claudette's tribute. This is one of my favorites. 

 

The film has some major Warner Brothers influences in that Max Seiner is the musical director and George Brent is in the film,  but it is an RKO production.   I believe Brent signed with RKO after his WB contract ended.    Adding Welles and this film does peak my interest.   Too bad it was 4:00 am here on the west coast! 

 

Oh well,  hopefully next time.

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I certainly enjoyed watching TOMORROW IS FOREVER today during Claudette's tribute. This is one of my favorites. 

I think I have that one recorded, along with Skylark and Boom Town.  Looking forward to watching them when I get time.  I've never seen any of them.  I am especially excited for Tomorrow is Forever, because aside from being a fan of Colbert, I really like Orson Welles. 

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Thelma Jordan combined with Double Indemnity and Martha Ivers becomes The Barbara Stanwyck Unholy Trinity wherein she quite skillfully plays some evil, evil women who know they're going to Hell and don't care even the slightest little bit (because they know they'll be running the joint in no time.)

 

You might add Sorry, Wrong Number and make it a Quartet, though Stanwyck's not quite on the level of Pure Evil in that one.

 

Nah, she's not evil in Wrong Number, she just saw Burt and bought herself a little snack, can't blame anyone for that.

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The film has some major Warner Brothers influences in that Max Seiner is the musical director and George Brent is in the film,  but it is an RKO production.   I believe Brent signed with RKO after his WB contract ended.    Adding Welles and this film does peak my interest.   Too bad it was 4:00 am here on the west coast! 

 

Oh well,  hopefully next time.

Brent made this one when he was freelancing after Warners, but he would soon sign a multi-picture deal with Universal where he made films with Yvonne de Carlo and Ann Blyth. 

 

TOMORROW IS FOREVER was an independent production, distributed through RKO. Claudette had just finished her long tenure at Paramount and was making a series of independent films at this time, though she would also continue to take jobs at various studios. I think she chose this script because in a way the story is very compatible to SINCE YOU WENT AWAY which she had recently made for Selznick.

 

She obviously liked working with Richard Long (who plays her son) and he was cast in THE EGG AND I which she made a short time later. 

 

And Long also appears as one of Welles' students in THE STRANGER, another independent production also released thru RKO.

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I think I have that one recorded, along with Skylark and Boom Town.  Looking forward to watching them when I get time.  I've never seen any of them.  I am especially excited for Tomorrow is Forever, because aside from being a fan of Colbert, I really like Orson Welles. 

I think it's one of Welles' better films jobs from the 40s (where he is just acting, not directing). Leonard Maltin calls it a bravura performance. 

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Thelma Jordan combined with Double Indemnity and Martha Ivers becomes The Barbara Stanwyck Unholy Trinity wherein she quite skillfully plays some evil, evil women who know they're going to Hell and don't care even the slightest little bit (because they know they'll be running the joint in no time.)

 

You might add Sorry, Wrong Number and make it a Quartet, though Stanwyck's not quite on the level of Pure Evil in that one.

Ooh I just got Sorry Wrong Number from Netflix. This little tidbit makes me even more excited to watch it!

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I think it's one of Welles' better films jobs from the 40s (where he is just acting, not directing). Leonard Maltin calls it a bravura performance.

 

Cool. If Maltin likes it it must be good, he seems to hate everything. I haven't seen many of Welles' films where he merely acts. I love his films, way ahead of their time and he's got such a great voice. I have a collection of his radio performances and his voice alone makes them very compelling.

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Cool. If Maltin likes it it must be good, he seems to hate everything. I haven't seen many of Welles' films where he merely acts. I love his films, way ahead of their time and he's got such a great voice. I have a collection of his radio performances and his voice alone makes them very compelling.

***possible spoiler ahead***

 

What I love about TOMORROW IS FOREVER is that every scene has purpose. And I mean every scene. Even a slightly insignificant moment where the nurse brings Claudette's baby out to George Brent (this is referenced later in the movie when they have an argument). And a scene like the one where she names the baby, because the importance of the child's name will ironically be lost on him as he grows up and meets his father (played by Welles) without realizing it. 

 

There are so many tiny details in this film, like where Claudette lets the teenaged girl borrow the earrings, which the son notices later. Or when we meet Welles' doctor, not knowing that the little girl (played by Natalie Wood) will turn out to be the doctor's daughter. 

 

There are also scenes where characters exit a scene, and in most movies there are throw-away lines about them going to do something else, just to get them out of the scene. But in this movie as we continue with the main action, we see these minor characters  completing their tasks in the background. You do get the sense that all their lives are occurring simultaneously and playing out together.

 

But what I think is best about the film is that as we go along, we realize just how fragile Claudette's character is and how the horrors of war are revisited upon her. With analysis we can see she is playing a woman with a split mind, though they do not come out and say it. There is one scene, near the end of the picture, where she is having a discussion with her grown-up son (played by Richard Long) and she says she had to have him come home to tell him something.

 

But this seems like she is referring to Welles coming back from the dead to tell her something. So in a way it has gone to the point where she is assuming her dead husband's mindset, in order to speak to her son. You can tell when the scene is performed that Claudette is completely conscious of this change in mindset. She seems to embrace the evil of the character and plays it naturally. I believe it redeems her as an actress. I think it is her best moment on film, and she had a lot of great moments on film. She has a lot of great moments in this film. They all do.

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Brent made this one when he was freelancing after Warners, but he would soon sign a multi-picture deal with Universal where he made films with Yvonne de Carlo and Ann Blyth. 

 

TOMORROW IS FOREVER was an independent production, distributed through RKO. Claudette had just finished her long tenure at Paramount and was making a series of independent films at this time, though she would also continue to take jobs at various studios. I think she chose this script because in a way the story is very compatible to SINCE YOU WENT AWAY which she had recently made for Selznick.

 

She obviously liked working with Richard Long (who plays her son) and he was cast in THE EGG AND I which she made a short time later. 

 

And Long also appears as one of Welles' students in THE STRANGER, another independent production also released thru RKO.

 

Thanks for the info.     Yea,  I need to remember that when sources like IMDB say the same of a studio that doesn't always mean the film was made by that studio but instead only distributed by that studio (therefore the team responsible for making the picture are not the regular, under contract,  studio team and the film wouldn't have that studio's 'style').

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Cool. If Maltin likes it it must be good, he seems to hate everything. I haven't seen many of Welles' films where he merely acts. I love his films, way ahead of their time and he's got such a great voice. I have a collection of his radio performances and his voice alone makes them very compelling.

 

Yeah, but what was the deal with all of the fake noses he wore in movies?

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Yeah, but what was the deal with all of the fake noses he wore in movies?

 

It was a personal little peccadillo of his, jakeem. He was of the mind that his relatively small nose didn't project enough "character".

 

(...and which I would assume meant he probably greatly envied Basil Rathbone) ;)

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It was a personal little peccadillo of his, jakeem. He was of the mind that his relatively small nose didn't project enough "character".

 

(...and which I would assume meant he probably greatly envied Basil Rathbone) ;)

Or,.to.reference.a.pic.you posted.on another thread yesterday, Barbra Streisand.

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Ooh I just got Sorry Wrong Number from Netflix. This little tidbit makes me even more excited to watch it!

Have you ever seen it before? If you haven't and you have no clue how it ends, then you are in for a terrific shock. I know the first time I saw it, I had no clue how it ended and I was stunned. Check it out soon before someone ruins it for you.

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I really enjoyed the Herbert Marshall day; wish they had shown the back-to-back versions of The Letter in chronological order (1929 then 1940) and a little earlier in the evening (say eight), but oh well.

 

It was really nice to see The Little Foxes for what felt like the first time in forever on TCM...Whatever other issues it has- Foxes is one of the best acted movies of the forties, and Marshall is MVP among a stellar and pretty flawless cast (I know there could be some debate over whether Bette Davis was the ideal Regina Giddens; but that scene where she lets Marshall die as he ascends the stairs, it's all done silently and with her eyes is as great a moment as she ever had on screen. I almost wish the whole film had been silent.

 

I'd like to see more of The Little Foxes on TCM; it can be their new Mildred Pierce- ie a good film that they kind of run into the ground after repeated viewings. It'd have to be three years worth of monthly showings before I complained though, it is such a watchable film.

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I really enjoyed the Herbert Marshall day; wish they had shown the back-to-back versions of The Letter in chronological order (1929 then 1940) and a little earlier in the evening (say eight), but oh well.

 

It was really nice to see The Little Foxes for what felt like the first time in forever on TCM...Whatever other issues it has- Foxes is one of the best acted movies of the forties, and Marshall is MVP among a stellar and pretty flawless cast (I know there could be some debate over whether Bette Davis was the ideal Regina Giddens; but that scene where she lets Marshall die as he ascends the stairs, it's all done silently and with her eyes is as great a moment as she ever had on screen. I almost wish the whole film had been silent.

 

I'd like to see more of The Little Foxes on TCM; it can be their new Mildred Pierce- ie a good film that they kind of run into the ground after repeated viewings. It'd have to be three years worth of monthly showings before I complained though, it is such a watchable film.

I share your opinion about THE LITTLE FOXES. Personally, I think Bette did her best work away from Warners-- this one for Sam Goldwyn, her invalid character in PHONE CALL FROM A STRANGER for Fox, her Elizabeth I in THE VIRGIN QUEEN also for Fox, and her divorcee in RKO's PAYMENT ON DEMAND. 

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Have you ever seen it before? If you haven't and you have no clue how it ends, then you are in for a terrific shock. I know the first time I saw it, I had no clue how it ended and I was stunned. Check it out soon before someone ruins it for you.

No. I've never seen it before. I'll try to watch it soon. I also just got "Shadow of a Doubt" via Netflix too. I think that film and "Sorry Wrong Number" would make a nice double feature.

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I share your opinion about THE LITTLE FOXES. Personally, I think Bette did her best work away from Warners-- this one for Sam Goldwyn, her invalid character in PHONE CALL FROM A STRANGER for Fox, her Elizabeth I in THE VIRGIN QUEEN also for Fox, and her divorcee in RKO's PAYMENT ON DEMAND. 

 

Interesting.  A lot of people don't give Bette enough credit for the films she was in after All About Eve.    While I favor her WB films more so than her post WB films I do agree that Bette gave fine performances in the pictures you mention.   

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Yeah, but what was the deal with all of the fake noses he wore in movies?

Haha. I have no idea. I think in Touch of Evil, he wore prosthetics to make himself look a little heavier and older, so the fake nose was added to help the overall aesthetic. As for his other films I don't know. I know that celebrities like Errol Flynn, for example, wore fake noses in public in an attempt to move around public unnoticed; but obviously that would not be the reason to do it in film.

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Wow!  So far we've seen Alexis Smith, Herbert Marshall and now Thelma Ritter get their well-deserved days.  These are not usual suspects and that's made the whole thing interesting.

 

All I know about Lee Tracy is that he got an Oscar nomination in the 60s.  I look forward to "continuing education".  We also have Gladys George, Edmond O'Brien and Arlene Dahl coming up plus Betty Grable, Joseph Cotton and Alan Ladd. 

 

Folks, this why SUTS is still a worthwhile idea.  Thelma is a STAR even if she never played leading roles.  To me a star is someone who if you know he/she is in the cast you buy a ticket or tune in because you know that's at least one good performance.  That's Thelma!      

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