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Favorite Performers/Directors/Composers/Etc. That You Discovered Because of TCM


speedracer5
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This thread is not intended to be a counter thread to any of the "least liked about TCM" threads, it's merely a thread intended to discuss a person's work that you discovered (and enjoyed) as a result of TCM and as a result, were able to seek out a person's work, whether through the TCM schedule, or Fox Movies, or Netflix or whatever.  I don't mean which person you already were exposed to and got to see more of, but someone who you were brand new to before seeing them in a film on TCM. 

 

I know that as someone at the younger end of the age spectrum here at the boards, there are many films and people I've discovered that might be a "been there, done that" for someone else.  I didn't grow up with only the major three network channels as options.  Old movies scheduled Saturday afternoons weren't something I grew up with.  The closest memory of that I have is AMC playing Laurel and Hardy Saturday mornings and the New Years Eve/Day marathons of The Marx Brothers and Three Stooges' films.  I haven't been as saturated in the old movie world as others here were.  Some people here, it seems, are jaded by the offerings of TCM.  I, on the other hand, am always finding new films, new directors, new performers, etc. that are interesting to me.

 

Anyway, to get to the point of my thread.  When I was younger (like early teens in the late 90s when TCM wasn't a premium channel like it seems to be now), we had TCM.  I remember the fun I had watching some of the actors I did know about (my favorite Lucille Ball, Gene Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart), but then I remember watching random movies when I was sick and becoming enthralled with the actors that starred and loving the film itself.  For some reason, I discover the greatest films while sick (All About Eve, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Holiday Inn, just to name a few). 

 

Anyway, because of TCM, I discovered Claudette Colbert.  The first film I saw her in was the ubiquitous It Happened One Night.  I found Colbert completely charming and really enjoyed her work.  I wanted to see more of her films.  Unfortunately, I think we lost TCM after awhile, because it moved to a higher tier cable package than my parents wanted to pay for.  I went years without TCM and didn't see any more of Colbert, except when one time, I believe that AMC did a Ma and Pa Kettle marathon and started it with The Egg and I.  Again, I found Colbert charming and loved her.  Now, thanks to joint efforts between Netflix and TCM, I've been able to see many more of Colbert's films.

 

Another performer (performers) I discovered through TCM was the amazing duo of William Powell and Myrna Loy.  I saw them in, of course, The Thin Man.  They were so charming and such a delight that not only did I want to see all six of 'The Thin Man' films, but all of the films in their fourteen collaborations.  The only film of theirs I haven't yet watched is The Great Ziegfeld.  Now, I seek out both Powell and Loy, individually.

 

Who are some people you've discovered through TCM?

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speedracer, baby ! This is a great thread idea, and I'm sorry I didn't notice it sooner (Gee, I wonder why...)

 

I have discovered several movie people I like thanks to TCM. Mainly directors, I think.

A few years ago TCM featured a director called Morris Engel. I'd never even heard of him, much less seen any of his work, and was pleasantly surprised to discover I liked his stuff.

 

I say "surprised" because they're kind of "different" films, fictional stories, but with a documentary feel to them.

I'd never have seen them were it not for TCM.

 

There are many movies I wouldn't have seen (and liked) were it not for TCM, but offhand, a few that come to mind are They Made Me a Fugitive and other interesting British noirs, and a number of silent films. I've  always liked silent movies, but rarely get to see them. The first (and so far only) time I saw Sunrise and The Crowd was on TCM, and I loved them both.

 

There are lots of others, but I'll think of 'em later.

 

I'm very grateful I can get this wonderful telelvision station, it's enriched my movie-loving life so much!

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This thread is not intended to be a counter thread to any of the "least liked about TCM" threads, it's merely a thread intended to discuss a person's work that you discovered (and enjoyed) as a result of TCM and as a result, were able to seek out a person's work, whether through the TCM schedule, or Fox Movies, or Netflix or whatever.  I don't mean which person you already were exposed to and got to see more of, but someone who you were brand new to before seeing them in a film on TCM. 

 

I know that as someone at the younger end of the age spectrum here at the boards, there are many films and people I've discovered that might be a "been there, done that" for someone else.  I didn't grow up with only the major three network channels as options.  Old movies scheduled Saturday afternoons weren't something I grew up with.  The closest memory of that I have is AMC playing Laurel and Hardy Saturday mornings and the New Years Eve/Day marathons of The Marx Brothers and Three Stooges' films.  I haven't been as saturated in the old movie world as others here were.  Some people here, it seems, are jaded by the offerings of TCM.  I, on the other hand, am always finding new films, new directors, new performers, etc. that are interesting to me.

 

Anyway, to get to the point of my thread.  When I was younger (like early teens in the late 90s when TCM wasn't a premium channel like it seems to be now), we had TCM.  I remember the fun I had watching some of the actors I did know about (my favorite Lucille Ball, Gene Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart), but then I remember watching random movies when I was sick and becoming enthralled with the actors that starred and loving the film itself.  For some reason, I discover the greatest films while sick (All About Eve, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Holiday Inn, just to name a few). 

 

Anyway, because of TCM, I discovered Claudette Colbert.  The first film I saw her in was the ubiquitous It Happened One Night.  I found Colbert completely charming and really enjoyed her work.  I wanted to see more of her films.  Unfortunately, I think we lost TCM after awhile, because it moved to a higher tier cable package than my parents wanted to pay for.  I went years without TCM and didn't see any more of Colbert, except when one time, I believe that AMC did a Ma and Pa Kettle marathon and started it with The Egg and I.  Again, I found Colbert charming and loved her.  Now, thanks to joint efforts between Netflix and TCM, I've been able to see many more of Colbert's films.

 

Another performer (performers) I discovered through TCM was the amazing duo of William Powell and Myrna Loy.  I saw them in, of course, The Thin Man.  They were so charming and such a delight that not only did I want to see all six of 'The Thin Man' films, but all of the films in their fourteen collaborations.  The only film of theirs I haven't yet watched is The Great Ziegfeld.  Now, I seek out both Powell and Loy, individually.

 

Who are some people you've discovered through TCM?

 

I quoted this entire post of speedracer's because I think it's a really good thread idea, and in fact, one of the things these message boards are all about. Yet for some reason it was languishing at the bottom of the page.

(Not that it's for me to "push" someone else's thread. But this is such a good one.)

 

You are right, speed baby, Although I wouldn't say I was "saturated" in the old movie world when I was younger, I was exposed to classic film in a way it seems most younger people were not. I did see many old movies on television, especially, being a resident of Ontario, the great Saturday Night at the Movies show on (of course) Saturday night, onnn TVO (a uniquely Ontario television station, commercial free...), hosted by Elwy Yost.  It was a wonderful show, featuring a double bill of interesting movies, many of them quite rare (especially for then). This show preceded Turner Classic Movies by 20 years !

 

Also, in my teens and early 20s there was a proliferation of "revue cinemas", which were a gold mine for discovering all kinds of unusual films - the "classics", foreign films, and just really oddball stuff - what would now be called "indies".

 

So yeah, I guess a lot of what I saw on TCM when I first started getting it here in Canada (around 2003 maybe) I was already familiar with.

But it's a testiment (or is it "testimony"? I always get those two mixed up) to what a great station TCM is, and what diverse programming they offer, that despite my previous movie experiences, I still saw work from plenty of actors, directors, etc. that I'd not already seen.

I'll think of some of them for another post.

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I quoted this entire post of speedracer's because I think it's a really good thread idea, and in fact, one of the things these message boards are all about. Yet for some reason it was languishing at the bottom of the page.

(Not that it's for me to "push" someone else's thread. But this is such a good one.)

 

You are right, speed baby, Although I wouldn't say I was "saturated" in the old movie world when I was younger, I was exposed to classic film in a way it seems most younger people were not. I did see many old movies on television, especially, being a resident of Ontario, the great Saturday Night at the Movies show on (of course) Saturday night, onnn TVO (a uniquely Ontario television station, commercial free...), hosted by Elwy Yost.  It was a wonderful show, featuring a double bill of interesting movies, many of them quite rare (especially for then). This show preceded Turner Classic Movies by 20 years !

 

Also, in my teens and early 20s there was a proliferation of "revue cinemas", which were a gold mine for discovering all kinds of unusual films - the "classics", foreign films, and just really oddball stuff - what would now be called "indies".

 

So yeah, I guess a lot of what I saw on TCM when I first started getting it here in Canada (around 2003 maybe) I was already familiar with.

But it's a testiment (or is it "testimony"? I always get those two mixed up) to what a great station TCM is, and what diverse programming they offer, that despite my previous movie experiences, I still saw work from plenty of actors, directors, etc. that I'd not already seen.

I'll think of some of them for another post.

Thanks MissWonderly.  While I saw the odd classic movie here and there, like the annual showing of The Wizard of Oz around Thanksgiving, for example, the only way I was really able to watch them was via AMC, before they had all their original programming and switched their format to playing literally the same movie 4 times in a row (You think TCM plays North By Northwest or Roman Holiday too much, at least TCM repeats them on different days!).  I remember Nick Clooney's introductions, I always enjoyed his intros.  I also used to love watching the Biography program on A&E (before they switched to the all "reality" show format).

 

Anyway, I digress...

 

While people seem to be dissatisfied with what TCM is or is not showing, over all, it's been a great avenue to see all kinds of great old films, some classics, some classic only in the sense that they're old, but overall, I've discovered so many entertaining films.  Thank goodness for Netflix (Online Streaming and DVD rental), it's like having an enormous video store at your finger tips, I've been able to supplement TCM and Netflix's offerings with each other.  

 

Another person I've discovered thanks to TCM is director Otto Preminger.  For whatever reason, prior to seeing a Preminger film, every time I heard his name, it conjured up ideas of really serious films (which aren't a bad thing) or really artsy films.  I'm not sure if I can describe what type of films I was imagining someone with the name "Otto Preminger" would make.  I didn't realize the variety in the type of films he directed.

 

Because of TCM, I've discovered many films that I really enjoyed, only to find out that Preminger directed them:

 

Laura

Where the Sidewalk Ends

The Moon is Blue

River of No Return

The Man With the Golden Arm

 

...just to name a few.  

 

I love the style of his movies.  He seemed to enjoy a fruitful collaboration with Gene Tierney, another person I've discovered thanks to TCM.  

 

Another actress I discovered thanks to recommendations on this board (which we wouldn't have without TCM) is Jean Arthur.

 

It seems on this board, people either like her or are irritated by her voice.  I find her froggy voice oddly charming.  It's unusual, but not unusual in an annoying way like Andy Devine's is.  The first film I saw her in was The Ex-Mrs. Bradford co-starring a favorite of mine, William Powell (who TCM also helped me discover).  While she was similar to Powell's frequent co-star, Myrna Loy, Arthur definitely had her own persona.  While Loy's characters are typically a little more sophisticated and upper crust, but with a kooky streak; Arthur's more middle class and daffy.  Both ladies ooze charm.  I've also seen Arthur in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, but I didn't enjoy her co-starred with James Stewart as much as I did with Powell.  I don't know why.  However, I loved her with Cary Grant and Ronald Colman in Talk of the Town and Joel McCrea in The More the Merrier.  

 

Lately, I've just been working working working... coming home late and working working working on my house.  I haven't had time to watch much TCM :( Thank goodness for DVR. 

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Like classical music, I've also, due to local movie matinee TV shows, late shows and such, been exposed to classic movies for most of my life.  TCM gave me the opportunity to discover the NAMES of many of the people I'd seen in many movies since early childhood, and a chance to see many MORE of their movies than ever presented on those other outlets I mentioned.

 

The classical music comparison fits in due to my HEARING much classical music from one source or another, but one day, in the mid 1970's, I scraped up some money and went to a record store(remember THEM?) to buy some albums and start discovering how much MORE to Beethoven's 5th there was beyond the familiar four note intro.  Then, for ME, Detroit's classical radio station WQRS( sadly, gone since 1998) was my classical music version of TCM!  Say, for instance;  ONE example:

 

Through watching movies on TCM, I discovered that HAL WALLIS produced MUCH more than ELVIS PRESLEY movies.  AND some disaster movies when they were the "fad".

 

 

Sepiatone

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Like classical music, I've also, due to local movie matinee TV shows, late shows and such, been exposed to classic movies for most of my life.  TCM gave me the opportunity to discover the NAMES of many of the people I'd seen in many movies since early childhood, and a chance to see many MORE of their movies than ever presented on those other outlets I mentioned.

 

The classical music comparison fits in due to my HEARING much classical music from one source or another, but one day, in the mid 1970's, I scraped up some money and went to a record store(remember THEM?) to buy some albums and start discovering how much MORE to Beethoven's 5th there was beyond the familiar four note intro.  Then, for ME, Detroit's classical radio station WQRS( sadly, gone since 1998) was my classical music version of TCM!  Say, for instance;  ONE example:

 

Through watching movies on TCM, I discovered that HAL WALLIS produced MUCH more than ELVIS PRESLEY movies.  AND some disaster movies when they were the "fad".

 

 

Sepiatone

I'm happy that there's a market for showing old classics in the big theater.  Even if it's only a 1-2 day run like with TCM's collaborations with Fathom events or even if a local theater gives the film a 1 week run.  In my hometown in Salem, there's an old newly restored 1926 Gothic Tudor theater.  It used to be a Warner Brothers theater.  Every Wednesday night, they play an old movie.  The weeks alternate between silent films and "talkies." During the silent film evenings, an organist accompanies the film on the original Wurlitzer organ that was used when the theater was showing new films.  

 

Because of these theaters and a continued interest in classic film, new generations of people (provided these people are open minded about seeing a film not in color, or something more than 10 years old, sometimes that's more of an obstacle than making the films themselves available) are getting to see these great films in the way they were meant to see.  In fact, I got my first exposure to Errol Flynn at one of these events.  My family and I went and saw The Adventures of Robin Hood-- a beautiful film to see on the big screen.

 

I've noticed that at the Fathom Events at the more mainstream theaters, that there are many younger people at these events, which makes me happy.  Suddenly, going out and spending the evening watching an old Hitchcock classic seems like something fun to do and not some film you're forced to watch in school or something.  

 

Many of these film events that I've attended has led to me discovering new talents and then using TCM as a tool to see more of an actor's work.  

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While I had heard of Jean Simmons I had never seen any of her movies until I started watching TCM.

She's now one of my favorites.

 

The first movie of hers I saw was HOME BEFORE DARK.

I though the blonde hair was very unflattering.

It wasn't until later that I learned that the dyed blond hair was part of the plot of the movie. 

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While I had heard of Jean Simmons I had never seen any of her movies until I started watching TCM.

She's now one of my favorites.

 

The first movie of hers I saw was HOME BEFORE DARK.

I though the blonde hair was very unflattering.

It wasn't until later that I learned that the dyed blond hair was part of the plot of the movie. 

I guy I worked with/for years ago used to go out with her!   He told me Stewart Granger stole her away from him.

She was quite the beauty in her British film period, late 40's, early 50's.

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I guy I worked with/for years ago used to go out with her!   He told me Stewart Granger stole her away from him.

She was quite the beauty in her British film period, late 40's, early 50's.

 

Yes, Jean Simmons is especially beautiful in GREAT EXPECTATIONS.

 

great-expectations-jean-simmons-1946.jpg

 

 

She aged very well too.

 

I wish TCM would air SAY HELLO TO YESTERDAY with Jean Simmons and Leonard Whiting.

 

sayhello.jpg

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Fantastic picture of her!   She always reminded me just a bit of Audrey Hepburn.  Especially that soft, proper voice.

 

Bogie, I'm glad you mentioned that.

Jean Simmons's voice reminds me so much of Audrey Hepburn's.

I'm glad I'm not the only one to notice that. 

There are many elements of Audrey Hepburn's speech pattern, of course, that are very idiosyncratic.   

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While I had heard of Jean Simmons I had never seen any of her movies until I started watching TCM.

She's now one of my favorites.

 

The first movie of hers I saw was HOME BEFORE DARK.

I though the blonde hair was very unflattering.

It wasn't until later that I learned that the dyed blond hair was part of the plot of the movie.

 

I too love Jean Simmons. She also reminded me of Audrey Hepburn, and if it wasn't for Hepburn's meteoric rise shortly after Simmons first.started.making.waves in the US, I always felt that Jean's career might've soared higher than if did. She did do very well, buy Audrey overshadowed her substantially.

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For whatever reason, I always get Jean Simmons and Jean Peters confused--and not because both are named Jean. 

 

I must admit that I don't know who Jean Peters is. 

 

On a side note I was once describing a Jean Simmons movie to one of my co-workers who had a puzzled expression on his face as he heard the details.

He apparently he thought I was talking about Gene Smmons.

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I must admit that I don't know who Jean Peters is. 

 

On a side note I was once describing a Jean Simmons movie to one of my co-workers who had a puzzled expression on his face as he heard the details.

He apparently he thought I was talking about Gene Smmons.

The only film I've seen Jean Peters in is Niagara.  She plays the newlywed who visits Niagara Falls and encounters married couple Joseph Cotten and Marilyn Monroe.  She eventually catches Cotten doing something incriminating and ends up on a boat with him in Niagara Falls and has to be rescued. 

 

She was also married to Howard Hughes for 14 years. 

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The entire pre-code era has a huge amount of films that I had not seen before TCM began broadcasting them.

 

Simply because all of those films were not sold to television stations for broadcast when I was growing up.

 

Only a few pre-code movies made it to the revue houses.  The Marx Bros.  Universal horror pictures, etc.

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The only film I've seen Jean Peters in is Niagara.  She plays the newlywed who visits Niagara Falls and encounters married couple Joseph Cotten and Marilyn Monroe.  She eventually catches Cotten doing something incriminating and ends up on a boat with him in Niagara Falls and has to be rescued. 

 

She was also married to Howard Hughes for 14 years. 

 

Check out Pick-Up on South Street and Vicki for two noirs featuring Jean Peters.     In both films she plays characters that are much different than the one she plays in Niagara.   

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The entire pre-code era has a huge amount of films that I had not seen before TCM began broadcasting them.

 

Simply because all of those films were not sold to television stations for broadcast when I was growing up.

 

Only a few pre-code movies made it to the revue houses.  The Marx Bros.  Universal horror pictures, etc.

 

Yes, I love the precode movies.

 

Some of the favorites that TCM introduced me to are WATERLOO BRIDGE, EMPLOYEES' ENTRANCE, RAIN, SEARCH FOR BEAUTY and WILD BOYS OF THE ROAD. 

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Check out Pick-Up on South Street and Vicki for two noirs featuring Jean Peters.     In both films she plays characters that are much different than the one she plays in Niagara.   

Thanks for the recommendations! I actually recorded Pick Up on South Street last week on FXM, but I haven't watched it yet.  I think I've finally caught up on almost all the Betty Grable musicals. 

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Yes, I love the precode movies.

 

Some of the favorites that TCM introduced me to are WATERLOO BRIDGE, EMPLOYEES' ENTRANCE, RAIN, SEARCH FOR BEAUTY and WILD BOYS OF THE ROAD. 

I've also been finding the pre codes to be a lot of fun.  For the longest time, I tended to stay away from the early talkies (1927 up to 1933ish) because they always seemed "creaky" (if that makes sense).  A lot of them had poor film quality (which I know, what can I expect from an 80+ year old film?) and bad sound that made it hard to watch.  I'm happy that TCM has managed to find decent prints of many of these films and I've found a lot of them to be really fun.  For the most part, they're really fun because of the content and the outrageous things these characters get away with--they're outrageous for a 1930s movie at least.  I also find them a lot of fun because many of them feature some of the biggest Hollywood stars in the very beginnings of their career, before they hit it big.  Cary Grant in Hot Saturday was interesting as was seeing Barbara Stanwyck in all of her pre-codes. 

 

I was so excited that TCM had those Pre-Code Fridays last September, even though I didn't have time to watch a ton of them.  I'm excited for the "Summer of Darkness" coming up next month and July. 

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Two movies TCM has shown that I am besotted (love that word!) with are Luis Bunuel's The Exterminating Angel and Jean Cocteau's Orpheus.  From various threads I realize they're not universally liked, but for me it was a thrill to discover their weird worlds.  Sometimes it's nice not to know what something means, or even what's going on in a movie, for me anyway.

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I've also been finding the pre codes to be a lot of fun.  For the longest time, I tended to stay away from the early talkies (1927 up to 1933ish) because they always seemed "creaky" (if that makes sense).  A lot of them had poor film quality (which I know, what can I expect from an 80+ year old film?) and bad sound that made it hard to watch.  I'm happy that TCM has managed to find decent prints of many of these films and I've found a lot of them to be really fun.  For the most part, they're really fun because of the content and the outrageous things these characters get away with--they're outrageous for a 1930s movie at least.  I also find them a lot of fun because many of them feature some of the biggest Hollywood stars in the very beginnings of their career, before they hit it big.  Cary Grant in Hot Saturday was interesting as was seeing Barbara Stanwyck in all of her pre-codes. 

 

I was so excited that TCM had those Pre-Code Fridays last September, even though I didn't have time to watch a ton of them.  I'm excited for the "Summer of Darkness" coming up next month and July.

 

The thing about that early talkie period is that they were almost as gritty as the 70's films, just not as explicit. I guess they were grittier times during the depths of the depression. Something both periods have in common is that Filmmakers needed those types of films tote butts in seats. Early talkies reinvigorated the film business just like relaxing the production code reinvigorated the film business of the early 70's.

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