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O. Henry's Full House


cigarjoe
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Just watched the excellent Full House (1952) on (FXM) five great O.Henry tales from his New York period (1902-1910) all framed by John Steinbeck  intros. The segments were directed by Hathaway, Hawks, King, Koster, and Negulesco, and had quite the casts, Laughton, Monroe, Jean Peters, Richard Widmark, Farley Granger, Fred Allen, Oscar Levant, Barry Sullivan, and more. Great little film I especially liked the noir-ish Joe MacDonald cinematography in The Last Leaf segment

 

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Just watched the excellent Full House (1952) on (FXM) five great O.Henry tales from his New York period (1902-1910) all framed by John Steinbeck  intros. The segments were directed by Hathaway, Hawks, King, Koster, and Negulesco, and had quite the casts, Laughton, Monroe, Jean Peters, Richard Widmark, Farley Granger, Fred Allen, Oscar Levant, Barry Sullivan, and more. Great little film I especially liked the noir-ish Joe MacDonald cinematography in The Last Leaf segment

Interestingly, both Monroe and Fred Allen were ALSO in another anthology film, WE'RE NOT MARRIED, the same year.

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My biggest regret is of losing a book, it WAS in bad shape, but it contained all of O.Henry's short stories.  I had long before read the stories adapted for that movie.  It was good, I thought, that they chose mostly the stories I liked best.

 

But in that book, in which were stories which had publication dates NO LATER than 1911---was one story( and I HATE that I can't remember the NAME!) in which several rich, white teenaged kids in Connecticut are attending a garden party.  O.Henry mentions it was customary at such occasions, to set up two rooms in the house for "freshening up".  One for the girls, and one for the boys.

 

In one part of the story, several of the boys are gathered in the BOY'S special room, and talking about one of the girls at the party.  One of the boys is busy combing his hair in front of a large "full length" mirror, when a girl sticks her head in and asks the hair comber what HE thinks he's doing?  And the boy replies,   "I'm trying to look fly!"  

???????

I guess this means it was ONLY FAIR that us white guys "stole" Rock'n'Roll!  :lol:

 

Sepiatone

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My biggest regret is of losing a book, it WAS in bad shape, but it contained all of O.Henry's short stories.  I had long before read the stories adapted for that movie.  It was good, I thought, that they chose mostly the stories I liked best.

 

But in that book, in which were stories which had publication dates NO LATER than 1911---was one story( and I HATE that I can't remember the NAME!) in which several rich, white teenaged kids in Connecticut are attending a garden party.  O.Henry mentions it was customary at such occasions, to set up two rooms in the house for "freshening up".  One for the girls, and one for the boys.

 

In one part of the story, several of the boys are gathered in the BOY'S special room, and talking about one of the girls at the party.  One of the boys is busy combing his hair in front of a large "full length" mirror, when a girl sticks her head in and asks the hair comber what HE thinks he's doing?  And the boy replies,   "I'm trying to look fly!"  

???????

I guess this means it was ONLY FAIR that us white guys "stole" Rock'n'Roll!  :lol:

 

Sepiatone

Yeah, but white men STILL can't jump.

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This is really a fun movie, cigarjoe.  I'm glad you also enjoyed it.  And what a cast!  It seems just about everyone under contract at 20th at the time is in this.  By the way, I don't remember Barry Sulivan in this.  Whom did he play?

He had a brief part as a store clerk

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Just watched the excellent Full House (1952) on (FXM) five great O.Henry tales from his New York period (1902-1910) all framed by John Steinbeck  intros. The segments were directed by Hathaway, Hawks, King, Koster, and Negulesco, and had quite the casts, Laughton, Monroe, Jean Peters, Richard Widmark, Farley Granger, Fred Allen, Oscar Levant, Barry Sullivan, and more. Great little film I especially liked the noir-ish Joe MacDonald cinematography in The Last Leaf segment

Excellent I agree.  I particularly liked the Laughton segment, shows just how terrific an actor he was. And Jean Peters (a fav of mine) was wonderful in THE LAST LEAF. Although I am always a huge Richard Widmark fan  I think his "Tommy Udo"  character spoof was a bit overdone. I do realize that the original Udo in KISS OF DEATH was already a way over the top guy.  I don't know if that was what the director called for or it was Widmark's own choice. And Dale Robertson was such a contrast with his "wooden" character. For me their segment  was the "weak link" in the film.  By the way did anyone spot the wonderful Kathleen Freeman  in the Ransom Of Red Chief?

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Joe, thanks for starting this thread. I'm a big fan of THE LAST LEAF, in particular, and love Joe Mac Donald's cinematography and Jean Negulesco's direction. This story could have been way too sentimental, but instead it's very moving. Jean Peters is terrific, and this is probably the best Gregory Ratoff performance I've seen, not to slight Anne Baxter, either.

 

In addition to Charles Laughton's great work, David Wayne is equally superb as his friend.

 

This movie was not a favorite of auteurist critics, probably because Howard Hawks' THE RANSOM OF RED CHIEF is one of the weaker segments (to me, the weakest). Hawks tends to exclude children from his films, and maybe he wasn't comfortable working with children.

 

Jean Peters is so good in this movie, PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET, and APACHE that an early 50s moviegoer might have expected great things from her. Instead, she got involved with Howard Hughes.

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This movie was not a favorite of auteurist critics, probably because Howard Hawks' THE RANSOM OF RED CHIEF is one of the weaker segments (to me, the weakest). Hawks tends to exclude children from his films, and maybe he wasn't comfortable working with children.

 

 

"The  Ransom of Red Chief" was actually cut for the wide release of the film after negative reactions to this segment during early screenings. The title FULL HOUSE was an odd one with only 4 stories in the film since "full house" was meant to be a reference to a poker hand.

When the movie began airing on TV, the fifth story was restored and O. Henry once again truly had a "full house."

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Oddly enough though, RED CHIEF was probably many people's favorite O. Henry story.  It's the only one my WIFE was familiar with, and I was able to, over the years, referrence it in discussions of several children in our family.  Like when the fear of children being "snatched up" would be voiced, I'd reply, "Not to worry. It would probably wind up being a "Ransom of Red Chief" type situation.  At least with THAT one!"

 

 

Even if some of the adaptations or performances might have been "weak" by some people's  opinions, you can't deny the creativity of Henry. 

 

A bum trying to get arrested so as to spend wintertime in the warm "comfort" of jail.

 

A kid so bratty that the kidnappers actually pay to be able to RETURN him.

 

Two people who love each other so much that they're willing to surrender that which they hold so dear so they could get each other a very nice Christmas gift.

 

Sepiatone

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Oddly enough though, RED CHIEF was probably many people's favorite O. Henry story.  It's

 

Perhaps the negative reactions to the film adaptation of "The Ransom of Red Chief" were because people felt that it didn't fit their vision of the story they'd read.

 

I was not familiar with this story when I saw the movie on TCM so I had no preconceived notions. 

The only stories adapted in the movie I had read were "The Gift of the Magi" and "The Last Leaf."

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"The Gift of the Magi"  is such an often told story, in many variations. I wonder if O. Henry's was the original or  just another variation of some earlier story.  On an episode of The Honeymooners Ralph used most of his Christmas spending money to buy himself a new bowling ball. He only had a couple of bucks left to buy his wife a gift. At the last minute he felt guilty about that, and hocked the ball to get money to buy her something nice (I forget what it was he bought her).  Of course in the meantime Alice, knowing how proud Ralph was of his new ball bought him a bowling ball bag. 

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  • 2 months later...

This is really a fun movie, cigarjoe.  I'm glad you also enjoyed it.  And what a cast!  It seems just about everyone under contract at 20th at the time is in this.  By the way, I don't remember Barry Sulivan in this.  Whom did he play?

You're right it was Warren Stevens, I get those two mixed up. Those two would be good for the lookalike thread

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A bum trying to get arrested so as to spend wintertime in the warm "comfort" of jail.

 

That is actually a common practice. 

 

 

By the way did anyone spot the wonderful Kathleen Freeman  in the Ransom Of Red Chief?

 

I always recognise her by her "round tones".....love her!

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A bum trying to get arrested so as to spend wintertime in the warm "comfort" of jail.

 

That is actually a common practice. 

 

 

By the way did anyone spot the wonderful Kathleen Freeman  in the Ransom Of Red Chief?

 

I always recognise her by her "round tones".....love her!

With the jails and prisons overpopulated, judges are  now hesitant to impose prison sentences for anyone, let alone bums trying to get arrested so that can get warm meals and warm accommodations.

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