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Tom, it's quite possible that Lorna was making a Lorna-style joke. ie, Lorna made it all up about Ronald Coleman because she has a wicked sense of humour and couldn't imagine anyone less suited to the role of meek, unprepossessing  Will Mossop than the debonair Mr. Coleman. Lorna wrote "I want to say" which suggests to me that she was amused by this idea and just threw it out there.  Here's what she said:

 

"I want to say that HOBSON'S CHOICE was originally supposed to pair LAUGHTON with RONALD COLMAN, but Colman died suddenly of a heart attack, which allegedly devastated Laughton- but he soldiered on; and really, I adore John Mills in this and wouldn't want anyone else."

 

Well, MissW, if it's an attempt at humour (Really? A Joke?), it's quite obscure to me.

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Well, MissW, if it's an attempt at humour (Really? A Joke?), it's quite obscure to me.

 

Well, I cannot pretend to interpret the post intentions of other people. Hopefully Lorna herself will return to this thread soon and clear up the mystery, one way or the other.

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Yesterday, the historic vaudeville theatre near my house showed "Singin' in the Rain" (1952). I brought my friend who had never seen it before, and he absolutely LOVED it, which made me feel really good. I have now seen this movie about 7 times within the past 2.5 years or so, which I guess either proves I love it, or I'm just crazy, or maybe both. 

 

 

It's the one musical that converts every agnostic and unbeliever, and as good as it is, and Kelly and O'Connor are, it can't just be the movie--

Every time I watch it with somebody who's never seen the movie before, and maybe knows the title number just from old-movie retrospectives, you can tell they're start to be won over in the opening movie-premiere scene, and Don Lockwood's story of "dignity, always dignity"...And then they're hit with "Fit as a Fiddle", and they know they're hooked.

 

Think the answer is that most first-timers don't expect musicals to have actual PLOTS, as much as they don't expect an individual dancer to be pretty cool.  Again, they tend to be raised on the previous generation's idea that musicals are too "happy" to be reality (just try getting into a discussion with Millennials, who didn't get to see real musicals between '86 and '02, who ask "Why would people sing in public, that's weird!"), and tend to lump them all into some quaint dated mishmash of RKO's Fred & Ginger, Warner's Busby Berkeley and MGM's Esther Williams.

But one critic pointed out that if you look at "On the Town", "Band Wagon", and "It's Always Fair Weather", original Betty Comden & Adolph Green stories always have at least one big-fat-fraud character who's not exactly what he's cracking his image up to be--or, in Singin's case, almost every character--and most people don't expect we'd get that satirical a bite of humor to go with the happy toe-tapping and colorful cameras.  (The movie premiere and fashion-show scenes are not exactly sentimental toward the 20's...)

And yes, seeing as Rita Moreno was in the film, I'm convinced her Movie Director character on the old PBS "Electric Company" ("Read the card, now ROLL 'EM!") was a deliberate homage to the stressed-out director trying to teach Lina Lamont how to use a microphone.

 

Like getting kids to read more books after Harry Potter, it's just a question of getting people to watch more examples than just the one that happened to blow their minds.

(Oh man, I knew I should've used this for the blog...Maybe later.)

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It's the one musical that converts every agnostic and unbeliever, and as good as it is, and Kelly and O'Connor are, it can't just be the movie--

Every time I watch it with somebody who's never seen the movie before, and maybe knows the title number just from old-movie retrospectives, you can tell they're start to be won over in the opening movie-premiere scene, and Don Lockwood's story of "dignity, always dignity"...And then they're hit with "Fit as a Fiddle", and they know they're hooked.

 

Think the answer is that most first-timers don't expect musicals to have actual PLOTS, as much as they don't expect an individual dancer to be pretty cool.  Again, they tend to be raised on the previous generation's idea that musicals are too "happy" to be reality (just try getting into a discussion with Millennials, who didn't get to see real musicals between '86 and '02, who ask "Why would people sing in public, that's weird!"), and tend to lump them all into some quaint dated mishmash of RKO's Fred & Ginger, Warner's Busby Berkeley and MGM's Esther Williams.

But one critic pointed out that if you look at "On the Town", "Band Wagon", and "It's Always Fair Weather", original Betty Comden & Adolph Green stories always have at least one big-fat-fraud character who's not exactly what he's cracking his image up to be--or, in Singin's case, almost every character--and most people don't expect we'd get that satirical a bite of humor to go with the happy toe-tapping and colorful cameras.  (The movie premiere and fashion-show scenes are not exactly sentimental toward the 20's...)

And yes, seeing as Rita Moreno was in the film, I'm convinced her Movie Director character on the old PBS "Electric Company" ("Read the card, now ROLL 'EM!") was a deliberate homage to the stressed-out director trying to teach Lina Lamont how to use a microphone.

 

Like getting kids to read more books after Harry Potter, it's just a question of getting people to watch more examples than just the one that happened to blow their minds.

(Oh man, I knew I should've used this for the blog...Maybe later.)

 

As someone who was born on the cusp between Gen-X and millennial, I can say that millennials are quite capable of watching and discussing musicals like Singin' in the Rain and the "antiquated" ones like Fred and Ginger's ten films.  They are able to suspend disbelief and enjoy the spontaneous singing and dancing that are present in musicals.  Musicals in most forms are escapism.  Not everyone needs to be beat over the head with reality all the time.  I say that if you cannot suspend disbelief because "people don't randomly sing in public," then you must have no imagination.  I know that rabbits can't talk, but that doesn't keep me from enjoying Bugs Bunny cartoons.  Non-classic film lovers find themselves enjoying Singin' in the Rain because it's fun and entertaining.  Gene Kelly's enthusiasm in his iconic "Singin' in the Rain" number is infectious.  

 

My hope is that by watching Singin' in the Rain, people (and I mean all generations, not just the frequently maligned millennials) will have their interest piqued enough to seek out other classic films, or even seek out films that are outside of their normal comfort zone.  With Singin' in the Rain, someone might be really impressed with Gene Kelly's dancing.  From there, they may seek out other Kelly films, which may introduce them to Judy Garland, which could introduce them to Fred Astaire, Astaire to Ginger Rogers, and so on and so forth.  All someone needs is one film to "grab" them and open their eyes to a whole new world of movies that they may have unfairly dismissed previously.  If Singin' in the Rain plays that role, then that's very exciting. 

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Yesterday, the historic vaudeville theatre near my house showed "Singin' in the Rain" (1952). I brought my friend who had never seen it before, and he absolutely LOVED it, which made me feel really good. I have now seen this movie about 7 times within the past 2.5 years or so, which I guess either proves I love it, or I'm just crazy, or maybe both. 

 

I love Singin' in the Rain too.  I have probably watched it as many times as you have in the last couple of years, I don't think that means we're crazy, I think it just means that we love the film.  I won't even tell you how many times I've watched my favorite film, The Long, Long Trailer in the last two years.  Lol.

 

People love Singin' in the Rain because it's a fun film.  Plain and simple.  If someone cannot find the joy and happiness present in this film and cannot suspend disbelief that people don't just randomly burst out into song and dance and just enjoy the film, then they're probably not the type of person who I'd want to see films with--they're too big of a square for me. 

 

Hopefully your friend will continue to find the joy in old films and you'll have a new movie buddy to go with :-)

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Musicals in most forms are escapism.  Not everyone needs to be beat over the head with reality all the time.  

 

If anything, the opposite is true. As in, there's a lot more escapism than reality in today's pop culture.

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As someone who was born on the cusp between Gen-X and millennial, I can say that millennials are quite capable of watching and discussing musicals like Singin' in the Rain and the "antiquated" ones like Fred and Ginger's ten films.  They are able to suspend disbelief and enjoy the spontaneous singing and dancing that are present in musicals. 

 

 

Well, go past your cusp to full Millennial, and you WILL hear the "Singing in public?" question.  I've heard it on tween-twenties fan boards on at least two occasions.  To clear up one baffling mystery, that's probably why there was such mania for Disney Channel's "High School Musical" fifteen years ago, because teens actually believed that Troy and Gabriella invented the film concept of singing in public.  (And then, when you explained to them that they hadn't, by showing them the original Travolta "Grease", they approached as an extension of what they already liked as a cultural anchor--"It's like High School Musical, only it was made thirty years ago!")

It also explains the other question that comes up in Oscar discussions, ie. "Why did they give Best Picture to Chicago, when Two Towers was nominated?"  Chicago revitalized the 21st-cty. Broadway movie not just by being good, but by finally hitting the weak point of the opponents' argument:  It's NOT real, all the musical numbers are taking place in Renee Zellweger's imagination, now shuddup and enjoy the dancing.

 

But yes, if you have to start someone on musicals, a Kelly is the one to use--He wanted his characters to demonstrate that even guys could be happy.

Fred Astaire is just as amazing on his feet, but always played the Smartaleck, which is an acquired taste.  (I remember a discussion on Christmas specials, and one kid said "I always hated that mailman guy from Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, he just looked so smug!", and I had to respond "Of COURSE he's smug, he's Fred Astaire!")

Otherwise, you could sell a new Singin' convert on "The Band Wagon", since it's practically the Broadway "sequel" to Singin'--Another ego-driven disaster preview that has to be fixed before opening night, by characters who learn to stop being pretentious fakes.

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If anything, the opposite is true. As in, there's a lot more escapism than reality in today's pop culture.

If that's the case, I want some escapism from the escapism! Lol. Maybe a romanticized escapism.

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If that's the case, I want some escapism from the escapism! Lol. Maybe a romanticized escapism.

 

Yeah, I was just referring to all of the capes, aliens, robots, ghosts, elves, cartoons, physics-defying car stunts, and video games that seem to saturate the multiplexes. I watch those films as well, but there's a paucity of reality in them.

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Yeah, I was just referring to all of the capes, aliens, robots, ghosts, elves, cartoons, physics-defying car stunts, and video games that seem to saturate the multiplexes. I watch those films as well, but there's a paucity of reality in them.

Lol. I interpreted your comment as referring to the "reality" of reality TV. That's what I was referring to. Lol

 

No worries. I agree with what you've said here too.

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"Why did they give Best Picture to Chicago, when Two Towers was nominated?"

Because Roxie Hart was nowhere near good enough to get it sixty years earlier.

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.....Fred Astaire is just as amazing on his feet, but always played the Smartaleck, which is an acquired taste.  (I remember a discussion on Christmas specials, and one kid said "I always hated that mailman guy from Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, he just looked so smug!", and I had to respond "Of COURSE he's smug, he's Fred Astaire!")

Otherwise, you could sell a new Singin' convert on "The Band Wagon", since it's practically the Broadway "sequel" to Singin'--Another ego-driven disaster preview that has to be fixed before opening night, by characters who learn to stop being pretentious fakes.

 

You seem to think a lot of people are "smart alecks".  Fred Astaire is a "smart aleck"??   Guess the Coen brothers are in good company.

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You seem to think a lot of people are "smart alecks".  Fred Astaire is a "smart aleck"??   Guess the Coen brothers are in good company.

 

Astaire does tend to play a lot of wise guys \ smart alecks in his films,  especially the Roger \ Astaire musicals. 

 

I find the way Astaire does this to be charming and that to me is the key.     

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Astaire does tend to play a lot of wise guys \ smart alecks in his films,  especially the Roger \ Astaire musicals. 

 

I find the way Astaire does this to be charming and that to me is the key.     

 

What is a smart aleck?

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Well, go past your cusp to full Millennial, and you WILL hear the "Singing in public?" question.  I've heard it on tween-twenties fan boards on at least two occasions.  To clear up one baffling mystery, that's probably why there was such mania for Disney Channel's "High School Musical" fifteen years ago, because teens actually believed that Troy and Gabriella invented the film concept of singing in public.  (And then, when you explained to them that they hadn't, by showing them the original Travolta "Grease", they approached as an extension of what they already liked as a cultural anchor--"It's like High School Musical, only it was made thirty years ago!")

 

Actually most millennials were already familiar with GREASE (and GREASE 2) before seeing HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, having grown up seeing those movies played frequently on cable  in the 1990s.

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You seem to think a lot of people are "smart alecks".  Fred Astaire is a "smart aleck"??   Guess the Coen brothers are in good company.

 

jamesjazzguitar

Astaire does tend to play a lot of wise guys \ smart alecks in his films,  especially the Roger \ Astaire musicals. 

I find the way Astaire does this to be charming and that to me is the key.    

 

Exactly:  There's a difference between being a smartaleck who imitates Bela Lugosi to tease Ginger Rogers in "Shall We Dance", and one who mercilessly, passive-aggressively milks jokes about Danny Kaye shaving his back...   :rolleyes:

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As someone who was born on the cusp between Gen-X and millennial, I can say that millennials are quite capable of watching and discussing musicals like Singin' in the Rain and the "antiquated" ones like Fred and Ginger's ten films.  They are able to suspend disbelief and enjoy the spontaneous singing and dancing that are present in musicals.  Musicals in most forms are escapism.  Not everyone needs to be beat over the head with reality all the time.  I say that if you cannot suspend disbelief because "people don't randomly sing in public," then you must have no imagination.  I know that rabbits can't talk, but that doesn't keep me from enjoying Bugs Bunny cartoons.  Non-classic film lovers find themselves enjoying Singin' in the Rain because it's fun and entertaining.  Gene Kelly's enthusiasm in his iconic "Singin' in the Rain" number is infectious.  

 

My hope is that by watching Singin' in the Rain, people (and I mean all generations, not just the frequently maligned millennials) will have their interest piqued enough to seek out other classic films, or even seek out films that are outside of their normal comfort zone.  With Singin' in the Rain, someone might be really impressed with Gene Kelly's dancing.  From there, they may seek out other Kelly films, which may introduce them to Judy Garland, which could introduce them to Fred Astaire, Astaire to Ginger Rogers, and so on and so forth.  All someone needs is one film to "grab" them and open their eyes to a whole new world of movies that they may have unfairly dismissed previously.  If Singin' in the Rain plays that role, then that's very exciting. 

Wow. This was a very well-thought out post. 

I agree for the most part. I have gotten about 4 or 5 of my friends interested in "old movies." For example, one of my friends became interested in classic movies after I showed her "The Bad Seed" (1956). I guess child killers are always appealing to audiences. Hmmm...

I was lucky because my parents showed me a variety of films when I was growing up. I first watched "My Fair Lady" (1964)  when I was probably about 4 years old. I think I was the only kid my age (and possibly older) who knew who Audrey Hepburn was. Another film I watched when I was about 3 or 4, was "National Velvet" (1944) with a young Elizabeth Taylor, Angela Lansbury, and Mickey Rooney (this was another one of my Top 5 when I was little). I have loved Miss Lansbury ever since. 

I do not think classic films are the "be-all, end-all," however. I think more younger people should watch older movies as a way of appreciating the film industry and the overall history of it all. I believe there is a way of appreciating something for what it is, rather than adore it completely. 

 

I definitely agree with how you said that one film/actor can spark an interest in another film/actor. I watched "Bringing up Baby" (1938) and was hooked on Miss Katharine Hepburn from the get-go. 

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"Veiled Aristocrats" (1932) that had me noticing something, the program description is a black passing as white. About his hair,  wouldn't people in the city took notice?  

 

veiled-aristocrats-poster.jpg

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Wow. This was a very well-thought out post. 

I agree for the most part. I have gotten about 4 or 5 of my friends interested in "old movies." For example, one of my friends became interested in classic movies after I showed her "The Bad Seed" (1956). I guess child killers are always appealing to audiences. Hmmm...

I was lucky because my parents showed me a variety of films when I was growing up. I first watched "My Fair Lady" (1964)  when I was probably about 4 years old. I think I was the only kid my age (and possibly older) who knew who Audrey Hepburn was. Another film I watched when I was about 3 or 4, was "National Velvet" (1944) with a young Elizabeth Taylor, Angela Lansbury, and Mickey Rooney (this was another one of my Top 5 when I was little). I have loved Miss Lansbury ever since. 

I do not think classic films are the "be-all, end-all," however. I think more younger people should watch older movies as a way of appreciating the film industry and the overall history of it all. I believe there is a way of appreciating something for what it is, rather than adore it completely. 

 

I definitely agree with how you said that one film/actor can spark an interest in another film/actor. I watched "Bringing up Baby" (1938) and was hooked on Miss Katharine Hepburn from the get-go. 

 

I also regularly watched classic films when I was younger.  We only had TCM for a few years when it first started (then it moved to a higher tiered cable package that my parents didn't want to pay for), so I mostly watched AMC when before it went downhill.  I remember watching Laurel & Hardy on Sunday mornings on AMC and I remember on New Years they used to show Three Stooges and Marx Brothers.  My ultimate introduction to the world of classic film didn't come by way of a particular film, but rather by Nick-at-Nite.  I discovered my favorite TV show, I Love Lucyone night on that wonderful channel (or perhaps a sub-channel? It was Nickelodeon's programming between 8pm-6am).  From I Love Lucy, I sought out Lucille Ball which led me to other wonderful stars.  I remember in 1996, in sixth grade, when Gene Kelly died, and I was so sad.  I watched Singin' in the Rain and The Pirate in his honor.  I was probably the only 11-12 year old who had a tribute to him. 

 

I also do not think that classic films are the end all be all to film either. I dislike the mentality that because it's old that instantly makes it better and vice versa, the idea that anything new must be garbage.  There are plenty of garbage classic films, just as there are plenty of good new films.  I think everyone should give things a go before dismissing them completely.  I am not a big fan of horror, silent and sci-fi, but I will give the films a shot if they come recommended or they sound interesting.  I'm always pleasantly surprised if I find myself enjoying them and actually getting something out of it.

 

Re: The Bad Seed, I've found that sometimes films featuring the most disturbing of themes can be the most enjoyable.  M is a very dark film, it's about a serial killer who targets children, but it is very engaging and interesting.  I also just happen to find serial killers fascinating.  I am not sure why. Films like The Bad Seed are just the right combination of perverse and camp.  I also love What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? because I find Bette Davis so delightfully evil but also hilarious because she was so over the top.  I also found Valley of the Dolls very enjoyable even though it was a film about drug addicts.  All three of the films I mentioned are campy and that's what keeps them from being taken seriously as a legitimate horror film or in the case of Valley of the Dolls, a film about the pitfalls of fame. 

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Actually most millennials were already familiar with GREASE (and GREASE 2) before seeing HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, having grown up seeing those movie played frequently on cable  in the 1990s.

 

I remember when High School Musical was a new thing (it actually came out 10 years ago, not 15).  I was working at Barnes and Noble (college job) at the time and I remember being surprised at how many moms were buying the film and talking about the film (and no, they weren't buying it for their kids).  I also remember being fascinated at how many adults (especially moms) were obsessed with the Twilight and Harry Potter series.  In fact, I remember seeing more adults purchasing High School Musical and Twilight than the teenagers, who were the targeted demographic.  I'm sure that Glee was inspired by the success of High School Musical.  

 

It is unfair to generalize an entire generation of people (in this case the millennials) based on a couple of observations made on an online message board.  Not all millennials are dense about things that happened before them.  I've known plenty of Baby Boomers who refuse to even consider black and white films.  There are always those who are only interested in what is now. 

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"The Floradora Girl" (1930)--Starring Marion Davies and Lawrence Gray.

 

Film is set in the Gay Nineties, and centers around the title Broadway show.  Marion Davies is a chorus girl, and Lawrence Gray is the rich playboy who wants to set her up in a private apartment.  

 

Davies is charming and funny, and sings well.  Gray is good, although he only gets one song.  Ilka Chase and Vivien Oakland are very funny as two "hard as nails" showgirls who know every trick in the book about getting jewelry from stage door Johnnys.  Look for Anita Louise in a small role.**

 

The film has fifteen musical numbers/songs interwoven into the plot, from  "Pass the Beer and Pretzels", to "Little Annie Rooney" to "After the Ball".  Films finale, "Tell Me, Pretty Maiden", is in Technicolor--the only time Davies appeared in Technicolor (I Think).

 

Very enjoyable film.  3.3/4.

 

**--I had to IMDB cast information to be certain of the cast members.

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What is a smart aleck?

One who prefers the Charles Laughton version of Mutiny on the Bounty.

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One who prefers the Charles Laughton version of Mutiny on the Bounty.

 

I think Alec has stated that he prefers the Trevor Howard version.

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Speaking of 'Deathtrap', why in the world does TCM never show 'Sleuth' (1972).

 

As I remember, it was a tour-de-force for both Michael Caine and Sir Laurence Olivier. Brilliant production. Where has it gone?

It's been recently in rotation on either Movies! TV, Get TV, or Fox Movie Channel. Saw it on again just a few days ago.

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I think Alec has stated that he prefers the Trevor Howard version.

I think you didn't get the joke. ;)

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