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Martin Luther King Day opportunity


slaytonf
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Included in the lineup are two films with one of my favorite character actors of the studio era:  Clarence Muse, and one that certainly deserves better recognition.  Multi-talented, pioneering, an advocate of racial equity in movies, his accomplishments are influential and long-lasting.  He was a major figure in the Harlem Renaissance, forming acting companies, and with the Lincoln Players and Lafayette Players.  He was the first African-American to direct a broadway play (Run Little Chillun, 1943), co-wrote "Sleepy Time Down South," a Louis Armstrong standard, was the first African-American to play the lead in a movie (Hearts in Dixie 1929), and Co-wrote (with Langston Hughes) the script for Way Down South (1939), and Broken Strings (1940, a remake of The Jazz Singer, which he starred in, and which we will see).  He also held a law degree from Dickinson School of Law.  Due to the prevailing racism, his roles were generally restricted to Pullman porters and butlers.  Despite that, he portrayed himself as a person, not a caricature.  His best-known roles are probably in Car Wash (1976) and The Black Stallion (1979, unfortunately released a few days after his death).

 

My introduction to Mr. Muse came with the movie, Black Moon (1934), a rather trashy movie about the obsession of a white woman with the voodoo cult.  Nevertheless, in it he portrayed an independent owner of a sail boat freighter in the Caribbean, and an effective ally of the good guys. His presence was a refreshing change from the norm.

 

His other film scheduled is Spirit of Youth (1938), with Joe Louis, who plays, guess what?, a boxer.

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Not so fast! TCM is showing "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" on February 20, 2016 -- Sidney Poitier's 89th birthday.

 

MLK day is on January 18th.       Therefore for once there are no Poitier films on MLK day.

 

I'm surprised TCM isn't showing Guess Who's Coming to Dinner on BOTH days!   (but I'm happy they are NOT doing so).

 

Also, I know I'm cynical as it relates to if TCM Programmers read threads at this forum and follow some of the advise,  but each year there have been threads about MLK day and how that the programming is mostly just Sidney Poitier day.     

 

If the programmers are listening;    hey,  how about George Sanders as Star of the Month!

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MLK day is on January 18th.       Therefore for once there are no Poitier films on MLK day.

 

I'm surprised TCM isn't showing Guess Who's Coming to Dinner on BOTH days!   (but I'm happy they are NOT doing so).

 

Also, I know I'm cynical as it relates to if TCM Programmers read threads at this forum and follow some of the advise,  but each year there have been threads about MLK day and how that the programming is mostly just Sidney Poitier day.     

 

If the programmers are listening;    hey,  how about George Sanders as Star of the Month!

 

Sanders can be Star of the Month after Brando finally gets that designation.

 

As Dan Patrick might say, you can't stop "GWCTD," you can only try to contain it! Don't be surprised if it's back on the TCM schedule next January 16th!

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