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FRED MACMURRAY- Nice Guy and Underrated Actor


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TB have you ever seen a film called TAKE A LETTER DARLING starring Fred MacMurrary and Rosiland Russell? Directed by Mitchell Leisen in 1943, Roz plays a advertising exec who hires Fred as her secretary. A few days ago I watched the documentary FOREVER MAME on Amazon Prime. Roz was quite the lady with a loving son and a thirty five year marriage to Freddie Brisson. When the movie roles were drying up, she went to Broadway winning two Tony`s for the musical WONDERFUL TOWN and the comedy AUNTIE MAME.

I bought a copy of TAKE A LETTER DARLING online a few years ago. I think the leads (MacMurray & Russell) put it over nicely but the script is problematic because it has that sexist ending, where she has to give up her career for the man, so he can be more successful. Leisen's direction is rather strong, though.

 

I thought about TAKE A LETTER DARLING last night, because I figured they might have Paulette's character in SUDDENLY IT'S SPRING give it all up for Fred, too. But I suppose that was implied with the bassinet scene and the fact that it was 1945 and the war was over, so she wouldn't have this type of career to continue.

 

Another reason TAKE A LETTER DARLING came to mind-- because Macdonald Carey had also played the second lead in that earlier film. So he and Fred worked together more than once when they were both under contract at Paramount in the 40s.

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Incidentally, most (if not all) the Fred MacMurray titles broadcast on TCM last night/early this morning are available on-demand for Sling customers.

 

I just finished re-watching MURDER, HE SAYS.

 

I will probably watch SUDDENLY IT'S SPRING again later this afternoon, as well.

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late last night, anyone catch.....?

When success goes to his head, a bandleader could lose everything.

D: Mitchell Leisen. Carole Lombard, Fred MacMurray, Charles Butterworth, Jean Dixon, Dorothy Lamour, Harvey Stephens, Anthony Quinn (just a spot as a masher)

 

- stock plot, great cast. Weird mix of genres, from comedy/musical to melodrama. MacMurray gets to play everything from silly slapstick to forlorn alcoholic AND plays? a mean trumpet as well!

 

Too bad it was such a TERRIBLE print   :(

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late last night, anyone catch

When success goes to his head, a bandleader could lose everything.

D: Mitchell Leisen. Carole Lombard, Fred MacMurray, Charles Butterworth, Jean Dixon, Dorothy Lamour, Harvey Stephens, Anthony Quinn (just a spot as a masher)

 

- stock plot, great cast. Weird mix of genres, from comedy/musical to melodrama. MacMurray gets to play everything from silly slapstick to forlorn alcoholic AND plays? a mean trumpet as well!

 

Too bad it was such a TERRIBLE print   :(

 

 

I have seen the film many times and I like it;  Not a great Lombard film but still worth seeing.   I like seeing Dorothy Lamour as the mean gal since that is out of character for her.   

 

I guess TCM showed that terrible public domain print.   This is a movie I wish someone would restore (assuming this is possible).

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Well Hibi, as I recall, after long negotiations between Don's agent and the U.S. Dept of Defense, he eventually WAS allowed to wear his hair long while performing his weekend warrior duties for our nation.

 

(...but he STILL couldn't get into Disneyland with his long hair until about the year 1977 and when they finally relaxed The Magic Kingdom's stringent "grooming standards" required for admittance)  

 

;)

Some reserve and national guard commanders allowed their men to wear wigs to cover the long hair in late 60's and early 70's.  Don't know if it was officially condoned or not.

The interesting thing is that Grady was probably in the reserves so he wouldn'ty have to serve on active duty and especially in Vietnam.  You would think he could have made some sacrifice to get special treatment.

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Some reserve and national guard commanders allowed their men to wear wigs to cover the long hair in late 60's and early 70's.  Don't know if it was officially condoned or not.

The interesting thing is that Grady was probably in the reserves so he wouldn'ty have to serve on active duty and especially in Vietnam.  You would think he could have made some sacrifice to get special treatment.

 

Yes, I'm sure that was probably the reason behind it. (not getting drafted).

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I have seen the film many times and I like it;  Not a great Lombard film but still worth seeing.   I like seeing Dorothy Lamour as the mean gal since that is out of character for her.   

 

I guess TCM showed that terrible public domain print.   This is a movie I wish someone would restore (assuming this is possible).

I don't see why it wouldn't be possible. Maybe the folks at Criterion will get to it someday.

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Last night I watched HONEYMOON TO BALI on Amazon Prime which reminders of TAKE A LETTER DARLING. The alternative title is MY LOVE IS YOURS 1939 and costarred the beautiful Madeline Carroll. Madeline is a career gal in a department store who is determined not to marry. She goes to lunch with her friend Helen Broderick and reluctantly a card reader predicts other things for Madeline. She soon meets Fred who works in Bali but is visiting New York City. He is the guardian of a adorable little girl. Madeline is determined not to change her life style, but she falls in love with the girl and likewise. Allan Jones plays a opera singer interested in Madeline, and a lady from Bali shows up determined to land Fred. Monty Whooley and Akim Tamiroff have small roles. We know where the finale of this film is going, but I really enjoyed how Madeline and Fred got there.

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Last night I watched HONEYMOON TO BALI on Amazon Prime which reminders of TAKE A LETTER DARLING. The alternative title is MY LOVE IS YOURS 1939 and costarred the beautiful Madeline Carroll. Madeline is a career gal in a department store who is determined not to marry. She goes to lunch with her friend Helen Broderick and reluctantly a card reader predicts other things for Madeline. She soon meets Fred who works in Bali but is visiting New York City. He is the guardian of a adorable little girl. Madeline is determined not to change her life style, but she falls in love with the girl and likewise. Allan Jones plays a opera singer interested in Madeline, and a lady from Bali shows up determined to land Fred. Monty Whooley and Akim Tamiroff have small roles. We know where the finale of this film is going, but I really enjoyed how Madeline and Fred got there.

Glad you mentioned this film, Maureen. Since it's in the public domain, it would be easy for TCM to show (maybe they could do an evening of Madeleine Carroll films at some point). It's really a dream cast. And they're all used perfectly-- the two leads, the charming little girl (who should have been in more movies), Broderick with her wisecracks, Jones singing a few numbers, and Tamiroff in one of his most unique character roles. 

 

Usually, I don't like predictable endings or overly happy endings-- and this picture certainly ends right where you'd expect it to-- but it works. It's one of those feel-good movies that you sort of want to watch again and again.

 

MacMurray & Carroll costarred five times-- four movies at Paramount and a later one released thru United Artists.

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Some reserve and national guard commanders allowed their men to wear wigs to cover the long hair in late 60's and early 70's.  Don't know if it was officially condoned or not.

The interesting thing is that Grady was probably in the reserves so he wouldn'ty have to serve on active duty and especially in Vietnam.  You would think he could have made some sacrifice to get special treatment.

Yes. In my National  Guard unit, many guys wore wigs. In any case , the haircut requirements were less stringent than in the regular Army, anyway.

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Yes. In my National  Guard unit, many guys wore wigs. In any case , the haircut requirements were less stringent than in the regular Army, anyway.

 

 

I dont get it. They had long hair and shoved it under short haired wigs?????

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I wonder how many TCM associates choice the movies to be shown. Why the crummy print of SWING HIGH SWING LOW? If I was a employee who helped to select Fred`s films, I would have picked MAID OF SALEM, TRAIL OF THE LONESOME PINE, THE PRINCESS COMES ACROSS, HANDS ACROSS THE TABLE, NO TIME FOR LOVE, SMOKEY,THE EGG AND I, and PARDON MY PAST. Fred`s movies that are available on YOU TUBE are GUN FOR A COWARD 1957, AT GUNPOINT 1955, AND THE ANGELS SING 1944, DAY OF THE BAD MEN 1958, MY LOVE IS YOURS 1939, and QUANTEZ 1957. SMOKEY 1946 and MAID OF SALEM 1937 are available on YOU TUBE, but I still would have chosen them for Fred`s TCM lineup.

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I wonder how many TCM associates choice the movies to be shown. Why the crummy print of SWING HIGH SWING LOW? If I was a employee who helped to select Fred`s films, I would have picked MAID OF SALEM, TRAIL OF THE LONESOME PINE, THE PRINCESS COMES ACROSS, HANDS ACROSS THE TABLE, NO TIME FOR LOVE, SMOKEY,THE EGG AND I, and PARDON MY PAST. Fred`s movies that are available on YOU TUBE are GUN FOR A COWARD 1957, AT GUNPOINT 1955, AND THE ANGELS SING 1944, DAY OF THE BAD MEN 1958, MY LOVE IS YOURS 1939, and QUANTEZ 1957. SMOKEY 1946 and MAID OF SALEM 1937 are available on YOU TUBE, but I still would have chosen them for Fred`s TCM lineup.

 

TCM can't just show any film they want.  They have to lease the film and leasing some films (like 30s Paramount films), cost more money than films already in the so called Turner Library.  

 

As for Swing High, Swing Low;  Does a non public domain print even exist?    If so I assume it would cost a lot more relative to the cost of films TCM has easy access to. 

 

Also,  those films on YouTube;  are those authorized copies of those films?   One can't expect TCM to show unauthorized films. 

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I wonder how many TCM associates choice the movies to be shown. Why the crummy print of SWING HIGH SWING LOW? If I was a employee who helped to select Fred`s films, I would have picked MAID OF SALEM, TRAIL OF THE LONESOME PINE, THE PRINCESS COMES ACROSS, HANDS ACROSS THE TABLE, NO TIME FOR LOVE, SMOKEY,THE EGG AND I, and PARDON MY PAST. Fred`s movies that are available on YOU TUBE are GUN FOR A COWARD 1957, AT GUNPOINT 1955, AND THE ANGELS SING 1944, DAY OF THE BAD MEN 1958, MY LOVE IS YOURS 1939, and QUANTEZ 1957. SMOKEY 1946 and MAID OF SALEM 1937 are available on YOU TUBE, but I still would have chosen them for Fred`s TCM lineup.

Right. I agree they should have not aired a poor public domain print of SWING HIGH SWING LOW. It really doesn't do anything to generate an appreciation of a classic movie star when the image on screen is so difficult to see. Bad choice there.

 

They didn't pick any of Fred's Fox films from the 40s. SMOKY is one of those and would have been a crowd-pleaser.

 

PARDON MY PAST, a Columbia release, is airing next week on TCM (rather early in the morning):

 

http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/86238/Pardon-My-Past/

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Right. I agree they should have not aired a poor public domain print of SWING HIGH SWING LOW. It really doesn't do anything to generate an appreciation of a classic movie star when the image on screen is so difficult to see. Bad choice there.

 

They didn't pick any of Fred's Fox films from the 40s. SMOKY is one of those and would have been a crowd-pleaser.

 

PARDON MY PAST, a Columbia release, is airing next week on TCM (rather early in the morning):

 

http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/86238/Pardon-My-Past/

Sorry I missed that movie because I am still without my January NOW PLAYING GUIDE. I was promised that I should receive my copy today, but it was not in my mail. I wrote all of Fred`s movies down, but missed PARDON MY PAST. I am still boiling because this will be my fourth phone call to NOW PLAYING. I wonder if they have any job openings available!

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Sorry I missed that movie because I am still without my January NOW PLAYING GUIDE. I was promised that I should receive my copy today, but it was not in my mail. I wrote all of Fred`s movies down, but missed PARDON MY PAST. I am still boiling because this will be my fourth phone call to NOW PLAYING. I wonder if they have any job openings available!

Maureen (and others),

 

I posted screen shots of all Fred MacMurray's movies that will be airing on TCM in January. They are in a thread devoted to Fred in the Star of the Month sub-forum. But I can repost them in this thread, if it helps!

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Here...(these are Mountain time zone)

 

screen-shot-2015-10-15-at-11-08-22-am.pn

 

Wednesday January 6th

screen-shot-2015-10-15-at-10-46-16-am.pn

 

Thursday January 7th

screen-shot-2015-10-15-at-10-48-44-am.pn

 

Wednesday January 13th

screen-shot-2015-10-15-at-10-49-49-am.pn

 

Thursday January 14th

screen-shot-2015-10-15-at-10-50-18-am.pn

 

Wednesday January 20th

screen-shot-2015-10-15-at-10-50-32-am.pn

 

Thursday January 21st

screen-shot-2015-10-15-at-10-50-47-am.pn

 

Wednesday January 27th

screen-shot-2015-10-15-at-10-50-59-am.pn

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Fred MacMurray is one of my favorites.  I especially like those movies he made with Claudet Colbert.  Apparently No Time For Love, The Egg And I, and Family Honeymoon (3 of my favorites), didn't make it this time around.  

 

When I was a kid buying comic books, I always thought that Captain Marvel resembled Fred MacMurray.  Much later in life, I learned that his image was, indeed, used to render the Captain Marvel character in the comic books.  This was inspired by the dream sequence in No Time For Love with FM and Claudet Colbert.  Pretty cool!  

 

Perhaps the rarest of the MacMurray/Colbert movies is 1944's Practically Yours.  FM plays a fighter pilot in WWII and his mission is to bomb a Japanese ship.  His weapons misfire so he decides to sacrifice himself and makes this a suicide mission.  His final words over the radio are about his beloved dog named "Piggy".  Those who hear his words think he said "Peggy".  There is a girl back home who works in his office named Peggy (Claudet Colbert).  Everyone thinks it's her he's talking about.  He miraculously survives his mission, returns home, and the misunderstanding is the plot of this entertaining romcom.  I wish this movie would show up on TCM.  

 

bOb39

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Fred MacMurray is one of my favorites.  I especially like those movies he made with Claudet Colbert.  Apparently No Time For Love, The Egg And I, and Family Honeymoon (3 of my favorites), didn't make it this time around.  

 

When I was a kid buying comic books, I always thought that Captain Marvel resembled Fred MacMurray.  Much later in life, I learned that his image was, indeed, used to render the Captain Marvel character in the comic books.  This was inspired by the dream sequence in No Time For Love with FM and Claudet Colbert.  Pretty cool!  

 

Perhaps the rarest of the MacMurray/Colbert movies is 1944's Practically Yours.  FM plays a fighter pilot in WWII and his mission is to bomb a Japanese ship.  His weapons misfire so he decides to sacrifice himself and makes this a suicide mission.  His final words over the radio are about his beloved dog named "Piggy".  Those who hear his words think he said "Peggy".  There is a girl back home who works in his office named Peggy (Claudet Colbert).  Everyone thinks it's her he's talking about.  He miraculously survives his mission, returns home, and the misunderstanding is the plot of this entertaining romcom.  I wish this movie would show up on TCM.  

 

bOb39

The esteemed film critic James Agee cited PRACTICALLY YOURS as a personal favourite of his. I have never seen it and wish it would show up somewhere...

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Here...

 

screen-shot-2015-10-15-at-11-08-22-am.pn

 

Wednesday January 6th

screen-shot-2015-10-15-at-10-46-16-am.pn

 

Thursday January 7th

screen-shot-2015-10-15-at-10-48-44-am.pn

 

Wednesday January 13th

screen-shot-2015-10-15-at-10-49-49-am.pn

 

Thursday January 14th

screen-shot-2015-10-15-at-10-50-18-am.pn

 

Wednesday January 20th

screen-shot-2015-10-15-at-10-50-32-am.pn

 

Thursday January 21st

screen-shot-2015-10-15-at-10-50-47-am.pn

 

Wednesday January 27th

screen-shot-2015-10-15-at-10-50-59-am.pn

Thanks TB for posting Fred`s schedule. Who knows when I will receive the January Now Playing Guide. They told me the issue was mailed out before Christmas. I own WOMEN`S WORLD 1954, and the movie is a Jean Negulesco gem about big business. The men involved are up for a promotion, and their wives come along for the trip. Clifton Webb is the boss, and Fred`s wife is Lauren Bacall. THERE`S ALWAYS TOMORROW 1956 is a underrated Douglas Sirk film where married Fred and Barbara Stanwyck meet again after many years. I forgot to add THE RAINS OF RAINCHIPUR 1955 on my Fred wish list. Maybe the movie isn`t as good as the original THE RAINS CAME, but I like the film. When I lived in my former apartment I had this movie on my dvr. Unfortunately I lost everything when the dvr was sent back to Directv. We have Senior Cable here. My son and daughter-in-law bought me a TEVO for Christmas, so I am starting over again. So far I only have a few film noirs, and I did not save TRUE CONFESSIONS. The rest of Fred`s movies I taped, and after viewing I will decide to keep them or not. MURDER HE SAYS, SUDDENLY IT`S SPRING, and ALICE ADAMS are keepers. I haven`t watched the rest of Wednesday night`s movies. SWING HIGH SWING LOW is available on AMAZON PRIME so their print might be better. Anthony Quinn sure looked young probably 22.

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The esteemed film critic James Agee cited PRACTICALLY YOURS as a personal favourite of his. I have never seen it and wish it would show up somewhere...

PRACTICALLY YOURS is another Mitchell Leisen directed movie. TCm should offer a Spotlight or a night of his films. His films include HOLD BACK THE DAWN 1941, TO EACH HIS OWN 1946, NO MAN OF HER OWN 1950, MIDNIGHT 1939,REMEMBER THE NIGHT 1940, ARISE MY LOVE 1940,and NO TIME FOR LOVE 1943, EASY LIVING 1937, CAPTAIN CAREY U. S. A. Mitchell appeared as himself filming I WANTED WINGS in a cameo while directing HOLD BACK THE DAWN.

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Thanks TB for posting Fred`s schedule. Who knows when I will receive the January Now Playing Guide. They told me the issue was mailed out before Christmas. I own WOMEN`S WORLD 1954, and the movie is a Jean Negulesco gem about big business. The men involved are up for a promotion, and their wives come along for the trip. Clifton Webb is the boss, and Fred`s wife is Lauren Bacall. THERE`S ALWAYS TOMORROW 1956 is a underrated Douglas Sirk film where married Fred and Barbara Stanwyck meet again after many years. I forgot to add THE RAINS OF RAINCHIPUR 1955 on my Fred wish list. Maybe the movie isn`t as good as the original THE RAINS CAME, but I like the film. When I lived in my former apartment I had this movie on my dvr. Unfortunately I lost everything when the dvr was sent back to Directv. We have Senior Cable here. My son and daughter-in-law bought me a TEVO for Christmas, so I am starting over again. So far I only have a few film noirs, and I did not save TRUE CONFESSIONS. The rest of Fred`s movies I taped, and after viewing I will decide to keep them or not. MURDER HE SAYS, SUDDENLY IT`S SPRING, and ALICE ADAMS are keepers. I haven`t watched the rest of Wednesday night`s movies. SWING HIGH SWING LOW is available on AMAZON PRIME so their print might be better. Anthony Quinn sure looked young probably 22.

I'm a fan of the RANCHIPUR movie, but Fred is playing a supporting role in it (though he is quite good as always). 

 

I agree that SUDDENLY IT'S SPRING is a keeper. Fun film with excellent stars. 

 

I was surprised they didn't air WOMEN'S WORLD when either Lauren Bacall or June Allyson were featured as Star of the Month.

 

Hope you enjoy your Christmas gift!

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PRACTICALLY YOURS is another Mitchell Leisen directed movie. TCm should offer a Spotlight or a night of his films. His films include HOLD BACK THE DAWN 1941, TO EACH HIS OWN 1946, NO MAN OF HER OWN 1950, MIDNIGHT 1939,REMEMBER THE NIGHT 1940, ARISE MY LOVE 1940,and NO TIME FOR LOVE 1943, EASY LIVING 1937, CAPTAIN CAREY U. S. A. Mitchell appeared as himself filming I WANTED WINGS in a cameo while directing HOLD BACK THE DAWN.

I'd love to see a monthly spotlight of Leisen's films, but because the vast majority of them were made at Paramount-- I sincerely doubt TCM would be willing to spend the money to lease all those films from outside its library. If he had made MGM films, then they would have certainly had tributes to him by now.

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