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On 11/10/2020 at 6:42 PM, CinemaInternational said:

For what's its worth,  my bound  to be controversial personal ranking of 1990. (And yes I admit I liked Kindergarten Cop and thought that some of the foreign-language films were as dry as dirt)

Well, you're thorough, so I won't ask about the puzzling absences of Total Recall, Flatliners, or Darkman.

9 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

Gremlins 2 is a treat (which is strange because I wasn't so fond of #1). It's wild, its loose, its crazy and it feels like a feature length Looney Tunes cartoon. I was laughing hard throughout the entire film.

By changing screenwriters, Gremlins 2 fixes a lot of Chris Columbus' sloppy Spielberg-protege first script, even if just giving Phoebe Cates multiple chances to deliberately parody her "Santa" speech from the first movie.  😅

Not to mention being a historical time capsule for everything we hated about Ted Turner at the end of the 80's.

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17 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

 Thought the performances were quite good in The Grifters, but there were two things amiss: it wasn't quite as snappily made as I would have wished, and the rental disc I saw it on wasn't the greatest lopping off some sections of the second half (which made me furious). It's not a bad film though. (same goes for Show of Force and Wild at Heart and Hunt for Red October under it; I'd give them all the benefit of the doubt.) Mo Better Blues and down though are either films that didn't leave much of an impact, are mixed, or some just plain bad (the last 5 or 6, cough, cough).

Gremlins 2 is a treat (which is strange because I wasn't so fond of #1). It's wild, its loose, its crazy and it feels like a feature length Looney Tunes cartoon. I was laughing hard throughout the entire film.

 

7 hours ago, EricJ said:

Well, you're thorough, so I won't ask about the puzzling absences of Total Recall, Flatliners, or Darkman.

By changing screenwriters, Gremlins 2 fixes a lot of Chris Columbus' sloppy Spielberg-protege first script, even if just giving Phoebe Cates multiple chances to deliberately parody her "Santa" speech from the first movie.  😅

Not to mention being a historical time capsule for everything we hated about Ted Turner at the end of the 80's.

Building Announcement: Fire: The Untamed Element, Oldest of Man's Mysteries, Giver of warmth, Destroyer of forests, right now *this* building is on fire.

Woman In Corridor: What?

Building Announcement: Yes! The building is on fire! Leave the building! Enact the Age Old drama of Self-Preservation!

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16 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

My husband read the whole book.  He also mentioned the same character having multiple names.  He said that characters would be introduced, disappear, then re-appear hundreds of pages later and he would have to remember who  it was.  

WOW. Kudos to him. Tolstoy would go on for 20 pages or more just riffing on his opinions, and then go back to the story. I found it easier after awhile to skip those parts.

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The Third Alibi (1961)

 

This is a very tight little crime thriller. There are no unnecessary scenes nor idle dialogue. There is no need for red herrings as it is laid out in the style of the opening scenes of an episode of: Columbo.

A lousy excuse for a man has an affair with his sister-in-law. Her pregnancy spurs him to devise a scheme to murder his wife. He creates very elaborate alibis for the two of them so that neither will be suspected. All goes according to his plan right up to the point where it does not.

This is a sane and rational approach to the most common alternative to divorce. The only violence is a man being held back when he attempts to strike his wife. The only gore is a short thread of dried blood below a bullet hole. We do not even hear the gunshot. The performances are quite far above average for British B-movies of the era. I suspected the penultimate twist before the end but it then played out to be much more involved than I had imagined. It is the perfect length because it shows only what is necessary.

I truly wish there were more movies of this type with this quality.

7/8.2

Available on Amazon Prime Video at no additional cost.

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6 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

 

Building Announcement: Fire: The Untamed Element, Oldest of Man's Mysteries, Giver of warmth, Destroyer of forests, right now *this* building is on fire.

Woman In Corridor: What?

Building Announcement: Yes! The building is on fire! Leave the building! Enact the Age Old drama of Self-Preservation!

This brings to my mind the system installed in Sacramento, CA to warn the public of emergency conditions and advise on proper course of action. It is a series of loudspeakers which crisscross the city. A typical announcement is: "It is raining. Come inside. Come in out of the rain." This is particularly necessary when the legislature is in session.

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If you are discussing War and Peace or other Russian Literature, you need a scorecard to keep the various names characters go by (patronymics, pet names, etc.).  Also, with long novels (I read unabridged versions of Les Miserables, Hunchback, etc., you have to go through 100 Plus pages of War descriptions before returning to the major plot lines.  The last 50 pages of W&P are just Tolstoy's discussion about history and how it is told.

I'm torn as to what I'll watch tonight.  I'll probably start with Death in Paradise followed by new season SVU (although the series has "jumped the shark" for me).

The Third Alibi sounds good.  I'll have to check it out.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, chaya bat woof woof said:

The Third Alibi sounds good.  I'll have to check it out.

 

I hope that you do. I would very much like to read your opinions and observations of it. I hope that I did not go so far in my description of it that I gave away a major twist.

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1 hour ago, SansFin said:

This brings to my mind the system installed in Sacramento, CA to warn the public of emergency conditions and advise on proper course of action. It is a series of loudspeakers which crisscross the city. A typical announcement is: "It is raining. Come inside. Come in out of the rain." This is particularly necessary when the legislature is in session.

I live in Tornado Alley, so most towns and cities have warning sirens, originally funded by the federal Civil Defense program.  These are usually just wailing sirens.  But where I live, there's also a PA component to it that tells you what the severe weather is (they also sound the sirens if we have a severe thunderstorm with winds > 70 mph).  They can also use it for other purposes, but never do.   They recently announced they were stopping the PA portion, because people (I suspect recent transplants not used to them) would step outside to hear the announcement (which is not what you want to do if there really is a tornado coming). 

This is the first time I've heard of a similar system installed elsewhere.

And though I've lived in Tornado Alley most of my life (about 50 years), I've never seen one or been anywhere close to one (thankfully).

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[Wrongly posted by kingrat in Hits & Misses and moved here]

Did anyone else see Un carnet de bal? Julien Duvivier is becoming one of my favorite directors, and I hope TCM will be able to show more of his French-language films. Most of the Duvivier films I've seen were available on a website which has now been closed down. When Christine (Marie Bell) is left widowed after a less than happy marriage to a rich man, she decides to seek out the men on her dance card when she attended her first dance at age sixteen. All of them swore to love her forever. She encounters some of the best-known actors of the time, each with a great role to play: Harry Baur as a monk, Louis Jouvet as an attorney turned nightclub owner, Raimu as a provincial mayor, Fernandel as a married (but, one infers, gay) hairdresser; Francoise Rosay as the mother of one of the boys. Pierre Blanchar plays a doctor fallen on very hard times.

The starry cast is matched by the excellence of the other elements: costumes, cinematography (including the use of tilted shots for the scene with the doctor), set design, sound, the haunting waltz composed by Maurice Jaubert. A shot-by-shot analysis would show Duvivier's mastery. No Hollywood film of the 30s could have been as frank about abortion or showed the dancers in the nightclub topless at the end of their routine. Duvivier doesn't make much of the toplessness. It's there, unemphasized, as the nightclub's real business of prostitution and theft goes on.

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PHANTOM THREAD (2017)  *Score: 3/5* 
This is one that has been on my list for a long time now, and I finally  got around to watching it; unfortunately not one of my favorite movies, but I really appreciate the visuals and the score. I am too far into Paul Thomas Anderson's filmography at this point to turn back now, so I must finish the rest of his work (as far as feature length films go). Paul Thomas Anderson's Best Phantom Thread Shot Was Improvised | IndieWire

 

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Last night I watched a library copy of THE BLACK LEGION, a 1937 WB movie starring Humphrey Bogart. I've heard a lot about this movie on these boards and thought I should check it out. According to Wiki, it's a fictionalized treatment based on a true story of a white vigilante group that kidnapped & killed a man only a few years earlier in Michigan. This centered more on immigrants than race (although THEY were immigrants!) but it doesn't matter, fear/hate is stupid in any form. 

All of the acting was superb, I mainly wanted to see Ann Sheridan, who is delectable as usual, but not a main charactor. Bogie was great, very young but I hated the charactor he played. Most notable was charactor actor extraordinaire Joseph Sawyer-you know the guy:

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The script was good, the photography was good, the editing & direction moved this along at a quick pace. But like WB's THE STRAWBERRY BLONDE, I can't stand seeing some actors like Cagney or Bogie playing dumb clucks that ruin their lives over bad decisions. Glad I saw it once though, certainly an important illustration of how these bewbs think.

I also tuned in to Netflix's HUBIE HALLOWEEN '20 mostly because it was filmed in my old digs of Marblehead/SalemMA. My brother sent me a photo of a house I know well all "dressed" for ONE scene as it turns out. It is on the same street as the house in HOME BEFORE DARK '58 with Jean Simmons. (nothing changes in Marblehead) The clock tower frequently shown is Marblehead's Abbott Hall, also predominate in HOME BEFORE DARK and the SIXTH SENSE. Several scenes take place in Crosby's grocery store!

I have never seen an Adam Sandler movie, but it was worth checking out. Sandler plays the most annoying simple minded yet sweet & kind buffoon neighbor who lives with his Mom. Sandler could have played his charactor as smart & sweet, like Edward Norton did in DEATH TO SMOOCHY, greatly adding to the character's likability & eliminating his annoyance factor-you almost understand why he's constantly picked on. 

The movie is packed with familiar faces including hilarious couple Maya Rudolph & Tim Meadows who has not aged a DAY in decades. Steve Buschemi moves next door to Hubie and raises suspicions throughout the movie when people who pick on Hubie mysteriously disappear one by one. Ray Liotta, Julie Bowen,  & Kenan Thompson were also familiar standouts. (great performances by China Anne McClain, June Squibb were new to me)

I now see why Sandler movies are popular, they are kind of like an Andy Hardy with bite. This movie has a simple plot with an underlying "message" with  several levels of humor ranging from silly physical slapstick to teen/fratboy jokes and a few adult LOL moments. It's the sort of movie parents can watch with their kids, while illustrating fair treatment of others. It was a very high quality production-great looking, well written & edited. Just silly.

Hubie_Halloween_poster.png

 

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4 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

The script was good, the photography was good, the editing & direction moved this along at a quick pace. But like WB's THE STRAWBERRY BLONDE, I can't stand seeing some actors like Cagney or Bogie playing dumb clucks that ruin their lives over bad decisions.

 

But Cagney's character matures and realizes the shallowness of his former values regarding a beautiful woman versus a steadfast loyal one. You see that in that splendid scene in which Cagney and de Havilland sit on that park bench just after his release from prison and, now mellowed, he open heartedly thanks her for being the person she is. Both actors are magnificently restrained in their portrayal of emotions here, making this scene all the more poignant. I think The Strawberry Blonde has one of the great performances of James Cagney's career, with Olivia de Havilland sublime in support.

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Olivia, by the way, loved working with Raoul Walsh on this film enough that she recommended him as director to Errol Flynn for his upcoming western epic They Died With Their Boots On. Walsh would become Errol's favourite director and a friend he called "Uncle." Walsh, in turn, would regard Flynn as a son but, sadly, one he couldn't save from self destruction.

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2 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

Bogie was great, very young but I hated the charactor he played.

That's just another testament to how skilled an actor Bogart was.  FAR more than just the stiff lipped gunman or shamus he often played. You gotta admit....

Bogie's character was a likeable guy in the beginning, but after getting caught up became more despicable as the movie moved on.  But in another track----

I used to dislike the actor EARL HOLLIMAN, but mostly because my earliest exposure to him(and when I was in my early teens) was when he was mostly seen by me playing jerk-wad scumbag type guys.  But as years moved on and I got more exposed to his body of work, I realized he was very good at his craft and likely a very likeable individual.  And BTW----

WHY do you insist at spelling "character" with an "o"?

Sepiatone

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Anyone watch COME NEXT SPRING, which played on TCM last evening? This is one of those gentle tales about human relationships that some might call "heart warming" if done well while others might dismiss as "corny" if they don't care for it. I like this film very much. This tale of redemption is simple and may not have any surprises in the story but there's an honesty in the projection of emotions by the characters that rings true for me.

Ann Sheridan, as pointed out by the hosts, plays a character more severe than usual but you can understand why as she plays a farm woman forced to have raised two children by herself. There wasn't a false note in her performance. The former "Oomph Girl" could, if the fates had served her better with superior film roles, developed into a fine character actress. And Steve Cochran shows a sensitivity and even vulnerability in his role as an alcoholic on the wagon that makes you realize he could have been so much more as an actor than just a guy known for playing mugs and tough guys (good as he was in White Heat).

Then there's Sherry Jackson as the couple's mute daughter, delivering, okay I'll say it, a heart warming portrayal full of innocence and sensitivity. The final scene in the film chokes me up, that final shining moment belonging to young Jackson. Adding immeasurably to the warmth of this production is Max Steiner's musical score. Was I the only one who noticed that Max borrowed passages of his score from Sergeant York for this production? It works equally here.

COME NEXT SPRING may be no classic but it's well worth the investment of a viewer's time. Ann Sheridan could be pretty brutally honest in her appraisal of her own films. In an interview she gave about a year and a half before her death she called this production a "sweet, charming little film." Right on, Annie.

stevecochran_annsheridan_comenextspring_

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It seems like many of the responders watch movies.  Last night, after Death in Paradise, watched the new episode of Law & Order SVU followed by the special L&O on stars who were unknown when they were on L&O (Chad Bosman in an episode made me want to cry).  As for SVU, fell asleep during part of it, but there is another African American on the team beside Ice T.  Also, they did a twist on the incident in NYC with the woman who claimed that an African American was threatening her (she eventually lost her job).  In the SVU episode, Benson was accused of being a racist (even by her son).  I've just included spoilers.  I think it was a mishandling of what actually happened.  As for the tribute, I don't think they mentioned, when talking about stars who appeared in different episodes as different characters (e.g., S. Epatha M., who was in an early episode where her infant son was murdered because the "hit boy" got the address wrong) Jerry Orbach, who became so beloved as Briscoe.  He first appeared as a defense lawyer for Shirley Knight.  Excuse typos.    I enjoy reading what others are watching.

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Voodoo Man Poster

Voodoo Man (1944) Youtube 5/10

A mad doctor (Bela Lugosi) uses voodoo and kidnapped young women to revive his zombie wife.

This was one of the cheap Monogram horrors that Lugosi made and it's one of the better ones, though that's not saying much. George Zucco plays a voodoo priest who conducts the ceremonies. John Carradine plays a scraggly haired pervert who abducts the girls. There is some OK direction by William Beaudine, some good closeups of a very sinister looking Lugosi, he wears a goatee in this one. So it's very watchable, short (62 minutes), moves fairly swiftly and rarely boring.

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21 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

That's just another testament to how skilled an actor Bogart was.  FAR more than just the stiff lipped gunman or shamus he often played. You gotta admit....(snipped)

WHY do you insist at spelling "character" with an "o"?

Thanks for mentioning Bogie's skills, the best actors are the ones you don't notice acting. Probably why so many don't care for the hammy "stage" style of acting.

As for my spelling, I was taught "proper" English in school. Guess you don't recall it, but the entire "superfluous U" controversy began as a personal snark when a poster realized I spell some word (which one?) with a U compared to "US" English that does not use it. Please just let it lie.

21 hours ago, chaya bat woof woof said:

It seems like many of the responders watch movies.

Well this is a message board for a MOVIE CHANNEL. 🙄

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47 minutes ago, TikiSoo said:

 

As for my spelling, I was taught "proper" English in school. Guess you don't recall it, but the entire "superfluous U" controversy began as a personal snark when a poster realized I spell some word (which one?) with a U compared to "US" English that does not use it. Please just let it lie.

 

I was just curious, as even my oldest dictionary( yeah, I have an oldie.  from 1940)  doesn't have it spelled with an "o".  And DARGO is the guy who usually brings up the "u" thing.  But I've never seen it as him being snarky.    In both cases, nobody is really right or wrong.  So, I'm all for dropping it.  ;)  :)

Sepiatone

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1 hour ago, TikiSoo said:

As for my spelling, I was taught "proper" English in school. Guess you don't recall it, but the entire "superfluous U" controversy began as a personal snark when a poster realized I spell some word (which one?) with a U compared to "US" English that does not use it. Please just let it lie.

 

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Bigfoot's Wild Weekend (2012)

 

A copy boy at a tabloid wants to move up to being a reporter. His opportunity comes when there are several reports of Bigfoot being sighted near a small town. Most of the incidents involve beer or women's bikini tops going missing. Stereotypical hillbillies compete with stereotypical rednecks to capture the creature while the wannabe-reporter struggles to believe Bigfoot is real. 

The: "if you can't say something good, don't say anything at all" rule precludes my commenting on script, performances, camerawork or any other technical or creative aspects. The greatest accomplishment of the movie is that it displays many young women's breasts with nary a sag in sight. This is the only film credit for most of the actors. The sole exception is: David Novak who plays the sheriff. He previously did soaps and later found his niche in Lifetime movies. 

This is not a horribly bad "kill it with fire" movie in any sense. It is also not a: "so bad it's good" movie. 

A completely different cast with a completely different script with completely different director and cameraman using a completely different concept could have made this movie passable.

IMDb.com rates it: 2.6/10. 

My rating: 1.2/19

Available on Amazon Prime Video with no additional cost.

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Just to chime in on some of the recent posts here:

I tend to find the more annoying a character is in a movie points to the man or woman's prowess as a good thespian.  Nothing wrong with going against type.  Most actors and actresses prefer the chance to play different roles once in a while.

I had never seen "Come Next Spring" until it aired Thursday night.  Since it was a Republic film, and those aren't usually shown on TCM with great frequency, I was looking forward to it.  It did not disappoint either.  I thought Steve Cochran and Ann Sheridan had good chemistry with one another, but Sheridan is one of those players who is good enough that she complements the men who play opposite her rather well.  Sheridan had better-than-expected range as an actress (in my book, anyway).  Cochran's role was a departure from much of what I remember about him...usually played tough, unlikeable guys; died a tragic and bizarre death at an early age; was one of Hollywood's chart-toppers on the 'stud' list of lovers according to Mamie Van Doren.  He gave a nice, sensitive performance as a wayward husband and father who comes back into his family's life.  He craves acceptance from his wife (especially), his kids, and the townspeople without begging for it or coming off as too needy.  Overall, a fine picture.

I like TCM's showing of circus pictures on Friday nights this month.  It was a rare and fun treat to watch "The Greatest Show On Earth" last week (first TCM showing in almost 11 years!).  I also enjoyed "Carnival Story" with Anne Baxter and Steve Cochran.  And who can't get enough of "Freaks"?  Also of note:  I love watching "Berserk"--it's a guilty pleasure of mine.  Interesting that the principle players here are all pretty strong-willed women (Joan Crawford, Diana Dors, Judy Geeson).

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The Pagan (1929)

Ramon Novarro stars as an easy going half caste living on an island in the South Seas who falls in love with another half caste (Dorothy Janis), under the "protection" of a hard nosed white trader (Donald Crisp), who wants to raise her as a white.  Not so secretly he desires her himself.

This late silent (with Pagan Love Song repeatedly sung on its soundtrack by Novarro) was a followup by director W. S. Van Dyke to the previous year's White Shadows in the South Seas in which ambitious whites also took advantage of innocent, peace loving islanders.

This is a simple story, distinguished by lovely black and white photography shot on location, according to the film's opening titles, in the Paumolu Islands in the South Seas. Novarro delivers a remarkably naturalistic performance, while this was one of only six films in which the little remembered Dorothy Janis appeared. Donald Crisp, in a performance reminiscent of his work in Griffith's Broken Blossoms, is the one cast member who overdoes it with his villainy portrayal. Renee Adoree, best remembered today for her touching performance in King Vidor's The Big Parade, is second billed but has limited screen time as a woman living in the islands. The gifted Adoree would tragically die of tuberculosis just four years later.

While a minor film, The Pagan is not without its charms, thanks to Novarro's performance and the photography. TCM occasionally broadcasts this MGM production. Lovers of silent films will probably be satisfied.

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2.5 out of 4

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How to Murder Your Wife (1965)

 

A womanizing cartoonist wakes up to find he is married to the woman who was in the cake at a bachelor party. He can have neither an annulment nor a divorce and so is forced to adjust. His cartoon strip devolves from action/adventure to family parody. He so bridles at the increased popularity and his rapid descent into husbandhood that he plans to murder his beautiful wife and use it as a new storyline. 

The thin plot serves only as a vehicle for a series of jokes and jabs concerning marriage in the 1960s and to bewail how American husbands were emasculated by their overdemanding and shrewish wives. It would be a very bad movie if it was not so perfectly wonderful. I like Jack Lemon very much and he is squarely in his element here as a man who knows how he wants to live his life but the world refuses to allow it. Terry Thomas is his Jeeves and brings his indomitable British sarcastic wit to the situation. Virna Lisi is the poor little waif seduced and forced into marriage by the womanizing cad. Richard Quine was the perfect director for this as light sex comedies were his forte. 

The only downside I found in this movie is that many of the best lines are telegraphed. Judge Blackstone: "Been married 38 years myself. And I don't regret one day of it. The one day I don't regret was... August 2, 1936." As if we did not see that last sentence coming as soon as the second sentence was spoken.

7.4/9

Available on Amazon Prime Video with no additional cost.

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Scrolling through Netflix Documentaries, I stumbled across I AM DIVINE! an absolutely wonderful film about the entertainer made in 2013.

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As a huge fan, I knew most facts about his life & his work but MrTiki had no idea what Divine was about. I'm sure several of the scenes in the documentary were shocking to him (you know the one) but Divine's story is told in a very respectful, honorable way mostly by those who knew him best.

It was particularly heartwarming to hear about his childhood from interviews with his Mother & see photos of him as a teenager with his prom date. Most don't realize Glen Milstead was a very handsome, beautiful man despite his weight and there are several interviews included with him dressed as a normal person, out of costume-see trailer.

A decent amount of time was spent on the evolution of the charactor he portrayed and especially the make up artist that created the now iconic sweeping eyebrows and exaggerated lipstick. It also brought to light a few aspects of his career even I wasn't aware of, like his recordings & nightclub acts, I thought he was only a movie star in John Waters films.

Rickie Lake discussed that Milstead was kind of upset with the idea he wasn't the "star" of HAIRSPRAY and Mrs Turnblatt wore really unflattering hausfrau clothing instead of outlandish costumes, but quickly embraced the role like a true professional. I'm grateful he took the role if only to prove his talent as an actor to a mainstream audience.

My personal belief is the measure of a person's life is how much pleasure they have brought to others. Divine is one of those people who gave much more to the world than he received, like Judy Garland. And boy, would Divine love to be included on any list along side Judy Garland!

By the end of this tribute, I knew even MrTiki has come to respect the Divine force.

 

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