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Thanks for the Pre-Codes!


alix1929
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I caught most of the Warren William birthday celebration last week, though the only film I hadn't previously seen was Upperworld, which I was looking forward to immensely. I wasn't let down. William's performance was SO smooth. His sequences with Dickie Moore were a pleasure to watch; very gentle and sweet. Other nice touches: his reaction when Mary Astor finds the gift he was intending to give Ginger Rogers; another reaction, when Andy Devine finds lipstick in his car, and his volcanic intensity his return home after the altercation with Rogers and Naish when he was sitting in front of the fireplace with Mary Astor. Needless to add, but I will, I was hugely impressed with his work. I don't know if Roy Del Ruth was responsible, because I've seen William overact before (and loved it), but Upperworld features William at his cool best and, as one of his last pre-codes, I think is absolutely essential viewing (along with the pictures mentioned here) to understand what the cinema lost when it no longer had a place for William's unique personality. What a shame to relegate this man to secondary leads and character parts in B movies. Airing The Secret Bride (at least, in Canada) after it was a great chance to see how the presentation of the man could be altered in just a year.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I don't know if they did a market research before entering their different overseas markets (France, Spain, Latin America et al), but TCM Latin schedule's mostly comprised of TV Series such as Emergency, Bewitched, I dream of Jeannie, Night Gallery, Chips, etc.

 

As for the movies, they repeat the same films all over again and again, always. As I've said before, most of them are showed in those colorized versions that were popular in the 1980s. I've come to think that the schedule's limitation may have something to do with the fact that everything is dubbed in Spanish (although you have the chance of choosing a Second Audio Program in English).

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Well, you know, sometimes things don't work out for the best and my brain decided on sleeping rather than waking up for Another Language. Drat! My system doesn't work properly until I'm physically there to handle it so I generally only get films I'm awake for. I don't like that many of the Montgomery films that I'm after are airing in the wee-hours but I'm used to that after my initial experience with TCM a few years ago and found all the films I like, basically the pre-codes, are shown either around 4:30 or 6 in the morning and after.

 

I did snag Lovers Courageous, The Easiest Way (which I'm very happy to get since the last time it aired, and everybody was raving about it, I was unable to see it and got really miffed), Faithless and The Man in Possession. I haven't seen them yet but they look very interesting, and populated with all the usual suspects.

 

With those films, the Ray Enright films last month (of which I found The Silk Express a hugely enjoyable romp that I never paid attention to before), the Young and Francis films and so many more in the next few weeks, it'll probably be another two years before I get around to seeing them all.

 

I know you checked out April's schedule and Beauty For Sale greatly impressed me the last time TCM aired it, during a Glenda Farrell day. Day of Reckoning followed it and utterly convinced me to watch anything Madge Evans was in, even Huddle! I made a list elsewhere of what I thought were the finds to catch in April and I can't wait for some of them, like Sweepings, Kongo, Piccadilly, Clear All Wires and others.

 

One of the most interesting pre-codes I've seen is The Strange Love of Molly Louvain, that's airing during the Lee Tracy mini-fest. A dark film that really showcases pre-code movie-making and one of Ann Dvorak's shining moments.

 

But I hope TCM gives Another Language another crack soon.

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Oh Johnny! How awful! I've never fully understood why pre-Codes are always relegated to the wee hours of the morning. Thank goodness I have a DVR.

 

I enjoyed LOVERS COURAGEOUS, and hope you'll get a chance to see FAITHLESS sometime. Tallulah Bankhead is pretty good, and I wonder why she didn't catch on more in Hollywood. THE EASIEST WAY is also good, except for Clark Gable. He was wasted in that role, but Anita Page looked lovely, as always.

 

I'm also a Madge Evans fan, in fact I discovered her while watching BEAUTY FOR SALE some years ago. The best I can say about KONGO is that it is one weird movie! Definitely a pre-Code to remember, and certainly worth the time to view it. But distasteful.

 

MOLLY LOUVAIN is exactly as you described it. I sort of like Lee Tracy, but thought the movie to be a typical weepie downer. I didn't like this one as well as MIDNIGHT MARY with Loretta Young.

 

I think I set my DVR for some more pre-Codes I've never seen (and believe me, I've probably seen every one TCM has shown) next week. It's like pre-Code heaven, and I hope it lasts!

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I love my DVR too but never know if the film will playback as it should! Luck of the draw I suppose. I like how you suggest you "sort of like Lee Tracy", that's precisely my view. Have you seen The Nuisance? A fine film, and Tracy's really quite good in it, but TCM rarely ever airs it. I got lucky one morning and woke up (though I unfortunately missed Lawyer Man right before it and figured I needed to record something so I got to see The Nuisance by default). I showed my MGM release of Blessed Event to a friend a few years ago and he found the man extremely annoying. An acquired taste, to be sure.

 

I've always missed Midnight Mary, too. One of the these days.

 

And there's a question maybe you might be able to shed some light on. Awhile back I posted in some thread a query about two pre-code Cagney pictures, Winner Take All and Hard to Handle, and one other, Frisco Kid, that I haven't seen aired on TCM in the four-odd years I've been tuned in. I've noticed there are no user comments for either on the imdb, whereas every other Cagney film does. They're running Taxi! and The Mayor of Hell yet again (which I really don't mind since I'd like to replace my tapes of them), but I keep wondering about these other three.

 

Always a pleasure,

Johnny

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Johnny, try requesting the Cagney films you asked about. I've seen both movies (I think during a Cagney film fest) and HARD TO HANDLE is on my list of favorites. I spent many years requesting PENNY ARCADE which is Cagney's first film role, and it did finally air.

 

I've seen both the Lee Tracy movies you named, and liked both. He was a good "type" for pre-Code movies. Kind of a fast talker, not extremely attractive, kind of down to earth. Probably everybody on the planet knew a man who reminded them of Lee Tracy.

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What kind of out-put plugs do you have on your DVR machine? You should have at least 3 RCA out-put plugs, little sockets, one red, one white, and one yellow. You need a cable to run from those plugs into your DVD recorder. The DVD in-puts will be coded red, white, and yellow too.

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I started to watch Faithless yesterday and was enjoying it quite a lot until that persistant sound-lag problem appeared with only fifteen minutes to go. I noticed tracey mentioned a similar problem with A Foreign Affair so I doubt it was my provider's fault. Was it fine for you? It's so frustrating when half of the films I record to watch don't turn out because my play-back player can't read them and when they record just fine, like Faithless, the print's spoiled by a silly signal problem! Ugh.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I bought a Panasonic DMR-EH50, which works beautifully. It's a DVR with a built-in DVD recorder. Only downside is that it doesn't work with Tivo. Instead it uses TV Guide On Screen. Of course, the upside is that TV Guide is free, and only missing some of the bells and whistles of Tivo. I went nuts in January recording pre-codes.

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I went to the link there seems to be some class action suit but I don't know what it's about. I don't understand it either but the DVR must be the hard drive which is good because I missed several movies when I only had the recorder because if the disc was bad it stopped recording and I missed the whole movie but recording to the hard drive I can make discs myself. I have a different brand which has 160 GB hard drive . Now the DVD recorders are going to be dual layer but the one you're looking at isn't. Just like VHS there are different recording speeds.I don't know what's important to you I know mine I can either tell the disc or hard drive what the title is and it marks chapter points every 6 min.Make at least 2 DVD's because DVD'S sometimes have problems so you'll need a spare. if you get the one with 80 GB that would be about 35 hours at SP you could change the speed but you'd loss quality but you can erase it from the hard drive just like a computer also my recorder can record using the hard drive for 8 hours at SP but if you want to Dub a DVD keep each recording under 2 hours if you want SP because if I try to dub it has to change speeds which you loss quality I don't have DVD DL but it should record about 3hours 42 min. in SP but there's give and take depending on the disc .I'm not a techie C Net did a review of the same brand you were looking at do you trust them? I don't want to give you advice I just want you to know the facts I hope I explained it in layman terms.

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