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She also used to slide up to her top notes, and they edited out the slides, to make it seem like she just hit the note, straight-on.

 

That's generally referred to as scooping and it is not considered a good thing but some top flight singers can get a way with it from time to time. Italian opera is more lenient than German Opera (i.e. Wagner) where it is strictly taboo. Italians like to ham it up more and sometimes scooping facilitates. But generally a bad practice. I haven't heard KG but I'm sure it's quite bad with her. Anyone other than a top-flight singer should avoid it, it really sounds bad among the less capable.

 

Re making faces, the grand prize goes to Cecilia Bartoli, a world-class, coloratura mezzo. She makes so many faces even opera fans make fun of her. On video, better to close your eyes and enjoy the singing, which is phenomenal.

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That's generally referred to as scooping and it is not considered a good thing but some top flight singers can get a way with it from time to time. Italian opera is more lenient than German Opera (i.e. Wagner) where it is strictly taboo. Italians like to ham it up more and sometimes scooping facilitates. But generally a bad practice. I haven't heard KG but I'm sure it's quite bad with her. Anyone other than a top-flight singer should avoid it, it really sounds bad among the less capable.

 

Re making faces, the grand prize goes to Cecilia Bartoli, a world-class, coloratura mezzo. She makes so many faces even opera fans make fun of her. On video, better to close your eyes and enjoy the singing, which is phenomenal.

Well, on film, nobody heard her do it.  However, I recall when she went into CAMELOT on Broadway, many complained of her doing just that, throughout the score.  Still, she went on to star in a very successful tour of the show, so I suppose not too many people had an issue with it.

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I would've done the programming for this evening had I been called upon to do so.  :)

 

     8 PM:  "Murder at the Mardi Gras" (1978-Tvm).  C-100m.  Directed by Ken Annakin.

 

     9:45 PM:  "Savage Bees, The" (1976-Tvm).  C-99m.

 

     11:30 PM:  "Southern Comfort" (1981) C-106m.

 

     1:30 AM:  "Crypt of Dark Secrets" (1976) C-80m.  Low-budget Lou'siana mayhem.

 

     3 AM:  "Mardi Gras Massacre" (1978) C-94m.  Cheap and disgusting!  Made by the same fine folk who did "Crypt of Dark Secrets" a couple years before.  Has some of the same cast, too, along with lots of bloody rummaging around (don't ask what the bad guy is rummaging around for) and disco tunes courtesy of Westbound Records.  There are no opening credits to this movie, btw.  You get the title and then the movie starts with no credits until the end.   

 

    4:45 AM:  "Big Easy, The" (1987) C-108m.

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Tonight I watched an unusual and interesting (to me) movie: Dark Hazard (1934), with Edward G. Robinson.

 

Is this movie about gangsters?  No, it’s about dogs!  (Well, in a manner of speaking.)  Eddie plays Buck Turner, a gambling addict who wins and loses large sums of money.  Buck goes to a boarding house where he meets his future wife, Marge, who comes from the “right side of the tracks”.  After they marry, Buck tries to go “straight” with a respectable job, as a night clerk at the Northland Hotel.

 

Funny scene: The phone switchboard is alight with many calls, and Buck tries to answer them all.  He listens quietly to the question of one caller, then responds, “Noooo, sir!  You’ve got to have baggage!”

 

One “customer” repeatedly bullies Buck and incites him into a fight, which gets him fired.  Mission accomplished: the bully actually wants Buck to work for his organization, the dog track.  Buck is back in the gambling racket…

 

He becomes attached to one racing greyhound in particular: Dark Hazard.  He wants to buy him, but his wife puts her foot down.  She is not liking his return to gambling at all. 

 

Later, Dark Hazard is injured in a race, and his owner wants to put him down.  Buck saves his life by buying him for $25, and nursing him back to health.  All the while, Buck and Marge have been going through many ups and downs in their marriage.  Eventually, Buck takes Dark Hazard and leaves Marge, with Hazard enjoying a renewed racing career…

 

Technical note: I really love these 1930s Warner Brothers movies where they show the actor and the character name during the opening credits, so the audiences can connect the two.  In this flick, they even gave credit to the starring dog.  War Cry is the thespian who portrayed Dark Hazard.

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I would've done the programming for this evening had I been called upon to do so.  :)

 

     8 PM:  "Murder at the Mardi Gras" (1978-Tvm).  C-100m.  Directed by Ken Annakin.

 

     9:45 PM:  "Savage Bees, The" (1976-Tvm).  C-99m.

 

     11:30 PM:  "Southern Comfort" (1981) C-106m.

 

     1:30 AM:  "Crypt of Dark Secrets" (1976) C-80m.  Low-budget Lou'siana mayhem.

 

     3 AM:  "Mardi Gras Massacre" (1978) C-94m.  Cheap and disgusting!  Made by the same fine folk who did "Crypt of Dark Secrets" a couple years before.  Has some of the same cast, too, along with lots of bloody rummaging around (don't ask what the bad guy is rummaging around for) and disco tunes courtesy of Westbound Records.  There are no opening credits to this movie, btw.  You get the title and then the movie starts with no credits until the end.   

 

    4:45 AM:  "Big Easy, The" (1987) C-108m.

 

I especially like your choice of The Big Easy (1987)  -  I haven't seen this one since my first viewing on cable shortly after it's release. As I recall, this one is "dripping with atmosphere" as they say and sure beats the heck out of all those big city themed police movies.

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On my oldest son's recommendation, I watched both DEAD SNOW and DEAD SNOW RED VS. DEAD.  The first one is a straight zombie flick, and is quite effective (German with subtitles).  The second one (in English), which picks up, the very next second after the first one ends, is a laugh-out-loud, violent riot of a film (think EVIL DEAD/EVIL DEAD ii).  Both are on Netflix Streaming.

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.........

The other thing I noticed is that TCM had this film as being released in 1933, but the end of the film clearly said MCMXXXII--1932 (whew! So glad we learned Roman numerals in school. May have been the last class to do so. Sure helps in knowing when old movies & television shows were released).

 

Roman numerals are still with us.

 

http://www.glasswings.com.au/giggle/clock/

 

green-led.jpg

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Kid Dabb:  I reckon I should've put 'THE BIG EASY' on at 11 PM and 'SOUTHERN COMFORT' at 4:45 AM now that I think about it.          

 

     A note:  The Tv movie 'THE SAVAGE BEES' takes place just before and during Mardi Gras; had it taken place at another time of year I'd not have listed it, but it does and I did!   :)  

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On my oldest son's recommendation, I watched both DEAD SNOW and DEAD SNOW RED VS. DEAD.  The first one is a straight zombie flick, and is quite effective (German with subtitles).  The second one (in English), which picks up, the very next second after the first one ends, is a laugh-out-loud, violent riot of a film (think EVIL DEAD/EVIL DEAD ii).  Both are on Netflix Streaming.

Norwegian with subtitles actually.

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Father Takes a Wife isn't over yet (on TCM), but "I Just Watched" it anyway.  It didn't hold my interest - it's still on my TV, but I've tuned it out.  The warring between Menjou and Swanson got old and irritating after the first 20 minutes (maybe if I were married I would find it more relatable and funny!).

 

It was interesting to see Desi Arnaz pre-Lucy, of course, but in this film his acting was still pretty green; he wouldn't hit his stride as a talented comedian until the second season of his TV series, imo. 

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Father Takes a Wife isn't over yet (on TCM), but "I Just Watched" it anyway.  It didn't hold my interest - it's still on my TV, but I've tuned it out.  The warring between Menjou and Swanson got old and irritating after the first 20 minutes (maybe if I were married I would find it more relatable and funny!).

 

It was interesting to see Desi Arnaz pre-Lucy, of course, but in this film his acting was still pretty green; he wouldn't hit his stride as a talented comedian until the second season of his TV series, imo. 

I watched part of the movie-- it was on when I came home from work.  I had it recording, just because I wanted to see Desi Arnaz.  I was listening to the movie while doing dishes (ick).  I ended up switching to an episode of The Simpsons.  I'll see what that movie was about later. 

 

The only Menjou movie I'm recording aside from the movie with Desi is The Hucksters which is on later tonight. 

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I watched part of the movie-- it was on when I came home from work.  I had it recording, just because I wanted to see Desi Arnaz.  I was listening to the movie while doing dishes (ick).  I ended up switching to an episode of The Simpsons.  I'll see what that movie was about later. 

 

The only Menjou movie I'm recording aside from the movie with Desi is The Hucksters which is on later tonight. 

 

The Simpsons was funnier.  Possibly even washing the dishes was funnier.

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The Simpsons was funnier.  Possibly even washing the dishes was funnier.

I know The Simpsons was funnier! It was the hilarious episode where Homer joins the NRA and becomes a gun fanatic. 

 

Nothing in the movie that I was listening to sounded funny.

 

I'm surprised TCM scheduled this movie in the first Primetime slot.  If it were me, I would have scheduled Stage Door or The Hucksters.  This movie seems more like the type that is typically played during the day.

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I'm surprised TCM scheduled this movie in the first Primetime slot.  If it were me, I would have scheduled Stage Door or The Hucksters.  This movie seems more like the type that is typically played during the day.

 

You're probably right about that...  RO said after Father Takes a Wife that it wasn't a big hit with audiences, that the public wasn't ready for comic fare like this with WWII going on.  But there definitely were comic hits in 1941, so I think the fault is with the script.

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I watched The Male Animal with Olivia de Havilland.  I thought the cast sounded interesting: de Havilland, Henry Fonda and Jack Carson.  This film left me feeling kind of meh.  Jack Carson was the best thing about the movie, imo.  I found de Havilland's housewife character somewhat annoying and Fonda seemed to be having a quasi "12 Angry Men/Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" moment in the film when he defends the college professors against the Communist allegations.  The film seemed confused about what it wanted to be: a silly comedy or a serious political film.  I found that the political angle of the movie somewhat undermined the overall fun feeling.  I thought it was funny that Dennis the Menace's dad was one of the college students.  Joan Leslie was in this film too and her character was irritating.  Henry Fonda also did not play a drunk very well.

 

In This Our Life.  This film starred Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland.  I really liked this film, more so than The Male Animal.  I didn't realize Davis and de Havilland were in so many films together-- apparently they made six.  I found it silly that Davis and de Havilland's characters had male names, not even unisex names, just straight up male names (Roy? Stanley? really?) George Brent is actually more interesting in this film than he was in My Reputation with Stanwyck.  I thought de Havilland was excellent as was Davis.  When Davis commits the hit and run, resulting in the death of a child pedestrian, then she lies and blames the accident on Perry, I thought Davis was a truly despicable character.  Good on Brent for performing that extra investigation.  I hardly recognized Billie Burke as the grieving mother.  Charles Coburn was excellent per usual.  Then the end of the film, damn! I'd be curious to read the book that this film was based on.  Apparently the author was not pleased about the ending of the film.

 

Thelma and Louise.  I watched this movie last week.  I had heard a lot about it, I knew that they drove off the cliff at the end, and I knew to look out for a young Brad Pitt as a hitchhiker.  I liked this film.  It was one of those films where I found it interesting and fun to watch, but I don't know if it's a film I'd need to watch over and over.  It was a great film about women finally sick of being treated like crap by their partners and other men and decided to go out on the road on their own.  One of the first female "buddy" comedies. 

 

9 to 5.  This film was hilarious.  I loved Lily Tomlin's character.  Dabney Coleman's character was a sleaze and I was happy to see him get what was coming to him.  Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton were excellent as well.  I loved the part where they fantasized about how they were going to kill their boss--especially Tomlin's "Snow White" inspired fantasy.  The part when Tomlin steals the body from the hospital was funny. 

 

Gambling Lady.  This film was pretty good.  I liked seeing Stanwyck clean up at the poker table.  It was also interesting to see a young Joel McCrea.  This film was okay, but I didn't find it nearly as entertaining as Night Nurse or Baby Face

 

Illicit- I liked Stanwyck's character, who believed that she didn't need to be married.  I was disappointed, however, because the movie didn't live up to the title.  I realize that in 1931, the idea of an unmarried couple living together might be considered "illicit" but I was hoping for something more scandalous like Baby Face.  I enjoyed Stanwyck's costumes in this film and it was interesting seeing her with long hair.  I also liked the part when Stanwyck's husband wanted to have a baby as a means to solve their marital problems and Stanwyck told him no, stating that a baby won't fix their issues.  A very modern take for a 1931 film.  It's interesting how pre-codes seem so much more "modern" than the production code era films. 

 

Wife Versus Secretary- I watched this film in honor of Myrna Loy for her birthday and it was one of the films on my Jean Harlow collection that I hadn't seen.  I thought this was a great film.  Clark Gable and Myrna Loy make a great screen couple.  I also liked Harlow.  She wasn't her usual platinum blond, screechy persona.  She had actually toned it down a bit and may have also been sporting her real hair color (or at least something more realistic).  I really liked Harlow's character and found this to be a very sweet film.  A young James Stewart was also an interesting sight as well.  (It's funny in old films how the wife's mother is always trying to convince her daughter that her husband is up to no good and cheating on her.  You never see the husband's father trying to convince his son that his wife is cheating on him). 

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I just caught up on 2 recordings from TCM- 

 

First I watched O LUCKY MAN. I hadn't seen it in over 25 years, but surprisingly remembered the "jist" of the story. It's long and meandering episodes broken by "Greek Chorus" of songs, spelling out the theme. The singer at the piano reminded me of a very young Jeff Bridges. I laughed out loud when the main charactor (Michael Travis played by Malcolm MacDowell) bumped into the rock band and hitched a ride in their VW type van.

In fact., one of the best elements of the movie was the myriad of charactors were played by relatively few actors. In the end credits you see many actors played three or four charactors. It brings a kind of familiarity to such a random story. Despite the random nature of the episodes & people, I loved it. After all, that's the theme- randomness, chance and opportunity. I called it a "modern Candide" when I saw it at 25 and am amazed I was so astute considering all the booze & drugs I was on back then. 

 

The movie certainly isn't for everybody, but I'm SO GLAD I have it on disk, it's not available commercially. And like MAGNOLIA, it's one of those movies die hard film fans would enjoy.

 

Highlights were Vivian Pickles as a soup kitchen lady. Love love love her voice & delivery. She's my favorite part of HAROLD & MAUDE.

Also, "Grady" from the SHINING plays a similarly creepy charactor. Fun spotting him.

theshining.jpg

 

I then watched Steve Martin in PENNIES FROM HEAVEN, which I had never seen before. 

 

Another "odd" type of film for film fans especially. Depression era songs play throughout the movie, and the charactors lip synch to illustrate their inner most thoughts. The story line fizzled a bit, but was held up by the stellar performances of Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters & Jessica Harper. 

All the actors absolutely looked "vintage" because of the outstanding costumes, make up & hair. Christopher Walken had a teeny bit part, but he was incredibly convincing and looked as if he stepped right out of the 20's. Bob Mackie was the costumer and his creations were BRILLIANT. He borrowed design directly from Jaynet Gaynor for Peters' hats & dresses. Why not? Gaynor was married to Adrian, who knew exactly how to dress her.

Every musical number made me gasp out loud, the last one for the "Let's Face The Music & Dance" sequence. It was beautiful and amazing Mackie copied Ginger's dress exactly for Peters. Although I think Martin & Peters did an excellent job dancing, you see the brilliance of Astaire/Rogers by comparison.

I also really liked all the banjo music on the soundtrack-I suspect it's Martin playing.

 

I discovered Steve Martin early in his career, in his arrow-headdress days singing Grandmother's Song. I never saw his movies first run, but really like his honoring classic detective, horror & musical film with his films. He's handsome, has great timing and can pull off singing & tough dancing. He is a classic treasure in our time.

 

Then I watched a few I LOVE LUCY shows, season 4 when they went to Hollywood.

The Harpo Marx one was great, Lucy is amazing in costume, taking on other personas. When Harpo plays harp, he uses the instrument from the orchestra instead of bringing his own. It's a very distinct white harp with gold leaf scrolls at the foot.

 

The William Holden episode is particularly funny in the Brown Derby scenes where he turns the tables on Lucy & stares at her. The slapstick "melting nose" scenes less so.

 

I never knew Van Johnson was such a light dancer & song man. I couldn't stop laughing over Lucy finally getting her big break having stage fright, saying over & over, "I can't do it!"

Guess Lucy is funniest when we recognise how WE'D act in the same situation.

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