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Historical dramas


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No I am not talking about the personality clashes that sometimes occur on message boards. 

1md.png

Recently I moved up to Wisconsin and when I closed my home in Arizona, I threw some films into a few boxes I wanted to watch but never got around to watching for one reason or another. A few days ago, while organizing some items, I found one of the boxes-- a treasure trove is more accurate. I found a copy of MAGNIFICENT DOLL, a film made in 1946, starring Ginger Rogers, Stephen McNally, David Niven and Burgess Meredith. The always exceptional Frank Borzage is the director and rabbi turned Hollywood executive Jack Skirball is the producer.

 

I have had a copy of this film for several years and I was saving it-- who knows why. And what a treat to save. I love this film and only wish I had seen it ages ago. I watched it again in the middle of the night and have it playing again this morning. I see it fast becoming one of my favorite historical dramas.

 

Now, the reason for this thread-- and yes, there is a reason. I went to the Genres forums and I could find no place to start a discussion about the most magnificent MAGNIFICENT DOLL. It is not a western (obviously) and it is not a war film (obviously)-- according to the IMDB, it is a Drama / History. 

 

So where can we discuss historical dramas around here? Is this a neglected genre or sub-genre in Hollywood filmmaking? It would seem so...

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Interesting.   I myself, would classify any movie dealing with an historical incident, like taking place in some war long ago or some atual historic story as an "historical" drama.  If it just takes place in the past sometime, or is a fictional story with just an actual historical incident as backdrop, like is GONE WITH THE WIND, then I just call it a "Period piece" movie.

 

 

Sepiatone

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No I am not talking about the personality clashes that sometimes occur on message boards. 

1md.png

Recently I moved up to Wisconsin and when I closed my home in Arizona, I threw some films into a few boxes I wanted to watch but never got around to watching for one reason or another. A few days ago, while organizing some items, I found one of the boxes-- a treasure trove is more accurate. I found a copy of MAGNIFICENT DOLL, a film made in 1946, starring Ginger Rogers, Stephen McNally, David Niven and Burgess Meredith. The always exceptional Frank Borzage is the director and rabbi turned Hollywood executive Jack Skirball is the producer.

 

I have had a copy of this film for several years and I was saving it-- who knows why. And what a treat to save. I love this film and only wish I had seen it ages ago. I watched it again in the middle of the night and have it playing again this morning. I see it fast becoming one of my favorite historical dramas.

 

Now, the reason for this thread-- and yes, there is a reason. I went to the Genres forums and I could find no place to start a discussion about the most magnificent MAGNIFICENT DOLL. It is not a western (obviously) and it is not a war film (obviously)-- according to the IMDB, it is a Drama / History. 

 

So where can we discuss historical dramas around here? Is this a neglected genre or sub-genre in Hollywood filmmaking? It would seem so...

 

Yea,  there isn't even a drama category (thread)  in the genre forum.    Odd indeed and something I didn't notice until now.

 

I guess most dramas that are not war films, adventure movies or westerns (man films so to speak),  have some romance and therefore most dramas could be place in under that thread,  but that isn't a good fit.   e.g. take The Little Foxes;  While it has some romance (the young couple),  one could hardly say it was a romance film!    

 

So yea,  we need a drama \ historical drama thread under Genre.  

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I saw Magnificent Doll many years ago and found it to be ridiculous -- a view shared by David Niven in The Moon's A Balloon. He called the script "gibberish" and the presence of himself and Rogers in the film "the most unlikely bits of casting of the century".

 

I'd love to see a real biopic of Burr, or even a film about the Burr-Hamilton duel (I've wanted to see George Arliss in Alexander Hamilton for years). Perhaps someday Gore Vidal's novel Burr will be filmed.

 

I often enjoy historical films (and novels). I hope this thread becomes a general tribute to favorite examples and not just specifically about Magnificent Doll or getting a new board.

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Yea,  there isn't even a drama category (thread)  in the genre forum.    Odd indeed and something I didn't notice until now.

 

I guess most drama that are not war films, adventure movies or westerns (man films so to speak),  have some romance and therefore most drama could be place in under that thread,  but that isn't a good fit.   e.g. take The Little Foxes;  While it has some romance (the young couple),  one could hardly say it was a romance film!    

 

So yea,  we need a drama \ historical drama thread under Genre.  

Yes, I looked for a sub-forum for dramas, and there isn't a category for that either. 

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I saw Magnificent Doll many years ago and found it to be ridiculous -- a view shared by David Niven in The Moon's A Balloon. He called the script "gibberish" and the presence of himself and Rogers in the film "the most unlikely bits of casting of the century".

 

I'd love to see a real biopic of Burr, or even a film about the Burr-Hamilton duel (I've wanted to see George Arliss in Alexander Hamilton for years). Perhaps someday Gore Vidal's novel Burr will be filmed.

 

I often enjoy historical films (and novels). I hope this thread becomes a general tribute to favorite examples and not just specifically about Magnificent Doll or getting a new board.

Well, Niven's negative viewpoint may be related to the fact that his wife died while he was involved with this project. He and Rogers played a romantic couple in three films-- MAGNIFICENT DOLL was the second pairing for them. One of the things I love about this film is that it's the second time Burgess Meredith gets the girl (Rogers) in a Ginger Rogers movie. So though Niven is higher billed, he is essentially playing a supporting role. Perhaps another reason he doesn't think too highly of it.

 

MAGNIFICENT DOLL was a flop, probably because Universal didn't know how to market it and audiences were not ready to see Ginger do anything but musical comedy or tear jerkers. But watching this film convinces me that she was at her best when she was working in other genres, pushing herself as an actress. The set decoration is top-notch in this film; and Ginger gets to wear gowns by Vera West and hats by Lilly Dache.

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