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TCM's Celebrity Tribute to the Star of the Month


GeorgeOBrien

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Since I first got TCM four years ago, I have always loved the feature in which a celebrity salutes the star of the month. Many of them are often repeated between films.

 

Some have been wonderful, some have felt totally scripted and false.One of my favorites, and one that sounds absolutely genuine and heartfelt was John Gielgud's tribute to Claude Rains. One that felt totally fake and savored of hiring a current actor to feign enthusiasm for a classic star, was Chazz Palminteri's take on Edward G. Robinson.

 

I did not catch one for the last star of the month, Robert Montgomery. Was there one?

 

Here goes ones I recall with fondness:

 

George C. Scott on James Cagney

Janet Leigh on Norma Shearer

Ann Blyth on Joan Crawford (Wasn't there also one done by June Allison?)

Meryl Streep on Bette Davis

Michael Caine on Cary Grant

Jennifer Jason Leigh on Barbara Stanwyck ( though it smelled of a scriptwriter)

Cher on Katharine Hepburn (ditto)

Virginia Madsen on Marion Davies (ditto)

Patricia Clarkson on Ingrid Bergman (ditto)

 

I don't remember any for Garbo, which is a pity. Weren't any of today's stars inspired by her intensity and her glamour? Dumb question, huh? Likewise, I missed one for John Garfield when he was star of the month.

 

Anyone have a favorite, or remember one that I haven't?

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I don't think there was one on Robert Montgomery. I agree with you I love them. I do not remember any that you didn't mention, but I do love the one to Claude Rains and the one to Cary Grant, as you mentioned. I loved the story Michael Caine told about a lady coming up to him for an autograph, and saying 'you don't see many stars walking around', to Cary Grant, NOT recognizing Cary. Great story - and poor, silly woman, what an opportunity she missed! I think many stars were inspired by some of our favorite classic movie stars - but are likely too full of themselves to 'bother' to do a story about them. Pity!

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It wouldn't surprise me in the least if most of today's younger "stars" have never even seen a Garbo picture. ;)

 

When I think about current actors/actresses under the age of 40, I can't think of a single one who I believe cares more about being a good actor than about being a big celebrity.

 

Perhaps I'm just being overly cynical, but really. Some of the foolishness that goes on in Hollywood these days is just plain sad.

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I would love to see an indepth Tribute to America's Singing Sweethearts, Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald. These two singers gave their lives to entertaining America, not to mention the behind the scenes fact that they fell in love. They went on with their own lives yet stayed in love until they died. I would love to see a Tribute to our own American Romeo and Juliet story.

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I just remembered another tribute that hasn't been shown in a while on TCM: Michael Richards' homage to Red Skelton. Richards identifies Red as the primary inspiration for his comedic style, and the Skelton influence on the character of Kramer in "Seinfeld" is quite apparent to me. One of the better tributes.

 

duffylab

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  • 2 weeks later...

Along with the Paul Newman to Elizabeth Taylor tribute we covered earlier, I just remembered a tribute / recollection Elizabeth Taylor did for Montgomery Clift.

 

Now that was truly heartfelt.

 

Too bad Montgomery Clift isn't around to do one on Paul Newman and bring the whole thing full circle.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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Other ones:

Burt Reynolds on Spencer Tracy

Chazz Palmenteri on Edward G. Robinson

Ernest Borgnine on Robert Ryan

Clint Eastwood on James Garner

Melanie Griffith on Jean Harlow

 

And to my ear, it sounds like Joe Mantegna doing the voiceover on the What A Character on Rags Ragland.

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Maybe your ears are better than mine regarding the Rags Ragland promo but I was hearing James Cromwell of "Babe" in that salute. ("That'll do pig").

 

And I think Joan Cusack is speaking in the new (new to me, anyway) "What A Character" on Beulah Bondi.

Kyle in Hollywood

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  • 2 weeks later...

Saw one I hadn't seen before - Carrie Fisher on her mom, Debbie Reynolds. Has there ever been one done for Judy Garland? Her two daughters are very much around. I seem to remember Liza Minnelli doing one, but it was for her father rather than her mother.

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