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I was watching Treasure of the Sierra Madre last night on the Essentials. The female host( sorry, can't remember her name) ended up saying she thought it was a "little overrated". She seemed reluctant to say that much, she only did after a little prodding from Robert Osborn. She seemed to imply it was because there were no female roles. Anyway, my point is, that's the first time I think I've heard a host make a negative comment about a film coming up. I was wondering if anybody out there have ever heard this before. I was also curious to see if you think hosts should give their opinions, or " just the facts, ma'am" I'm not quite sure how I feel about it yet, hoping some of you can sway me one way or the other.

 

By the way, I was very impressed with the film. It's one of my new favorites. I thought Bogey was brilliant in depicting his paranoia.

 

Brad

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I'm going to watch again tonight to see if I can catch her 'reluctance'. I like the hosts' opinions as long as they follow-up a negative with a positive. I know sometimes when I don't like a certain actor or movie, I have difficulty finding something good to say about it or them. But then, I don't get paid for my opinion, whereas the host could easily turn a new viewer off by giving a negative comment. One thing I love about Robert Osbourne is his 'roll of the eye' along with a smile that makes you watch to see if he's being facetious.

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She's Molly Haskell (I think I got the name right) and she's a film critic. I picked up the same feeling you did about her. You have to remember, that many critics think their whole mission in life is to find fault with films and the more popular the film is the more faults they have to find. Well, she's entitled to her opinion about films as much as I'm entitled to mine about critics. I hope she's not going to be a regular on TCM.

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> She's Molly Haskell (I think I got the name right)

> and she's a film critic. I picked up the same feeling

> you did about her. You have to remember, that many

> critics think their whole mission in life is to find

> fault with films and the more popular the film is the

> more faults they have to find. Well, she's entitled

> to her opinion about films as much as I'm entitled to

> mine about critics. I hope she's not going to be a

> regular on TCM.

 

Yes, the only fault with Treasure of Sierra Madre that I could pick up on out of all she said is that there were no female characters. Way too CM for me. Like I said before, I think it's one of the best films I've seen ; I literally didn't want it to end. It does look like she'll be a regular on Saturday nights with Robert Osbourn for the Ebert/Ropert vibe I guess and maybe just to have one female face on there.

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> Molly Haskell's comments are as boring to listen to

> and watch and less interesting than watching two

> fly's screwing. She is out of her element which

> should be dishing out soup in a Salvation Army

> kitchen! She must have a "Godfather" or a "Dutch

> Uncle" that works at TCM to have gotten that job! To

> say she suck's is indeed an understatement! ;)

>

> TOOMANYNOTES

 

I see "no chemistry" between Haskell and Mr. Osbourne. If anything negative sparks fly!!

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Molly Haskell is a very prominent film critic. Her writings on film are internationally known.

She and her husband, Andrew Sarris, have been writing about film since the 1960s.

She got the job on her merits.

 

That said, her critiques on The Essentials are less than adequate some of the time.

 

Some reasons why:

 

She is not comfortable on camera. I have seen her on film in other documentaries and she is not as stiff and wooden as she is on The Essentials. This could be because of the director, the lighting, the script, maybe she and Bob don't really get along. Who knows what the problem is but there is a problem.

 

However, I give TCM credit for hiring a woman to co-host the Essentials with Bob. Molly may not be the best choice but they likely filmed all the intros and exits in a single day or two months ago, so until the end of the run, she will be with us.

 

Perhaps next year, we will get Jeannie Basinger or another female critic/historian who will be more animated and spar with Bob.

 

Till then, while you may not like the job she is doing, not everyone at TCM gets the job through nepotism. She actually earned the job.

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The problem is that "film critic" and film historian" are two different jobs -- they require different sets of muscles.

 

Though they certainly overlap, there is, nevertheless, a significant difference between seeing a movie on Monday for the purpose of writing a one-column review for publication on Friday, and cogitating over a movie -- or someone's career -- for years, or decades before committing a word to paper.

 

Frankly, most film critics are like short-order cooks, whereas a few (and only a very few) historians are like grand chefs, who provide meals worthy of posterity.

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To be honest, middle-age is eating away at my attention span, and I tend to drift off into dreamland until the movies start. I do like Osborne, but it's much easier these days for me to look up the info on films in the various databases. As far as "Treasure" goes, love the film, but really dislike the music.

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I have a minor problem with Molly Haskell giving critical commentary on TCM for the following reason: she's a devoted feminist whose opinions tend to be skewed toward her own research.

 

Personally, I don't think that any commentator on a classic movie network - 'historian' 'critic' 'author of countless critical feminist literature' - should be given the opportunity to formulate perspectives on such main staples as 'Treasure' that are more in tune with speculative theorizations rather than providing solid historical backdrop on the movie that is being viewed. NOT EVER FLICK CAN BE A CHICK FLICK or PRESENT FEMALE CHARACTERS IN A FLATTERING LIGHT. Such is the fate of appealing to broad tastes rather than narrow theoretical discourse.

 

Robert Osborne is very much a man of unobtrusive knowledge - he provides backstory not backlash to every movie he introduces. He keeps personal opinion to himself and never suggests that his audience keep anything but an open mind while viewing the films showcased on TCM. That's the hallmark of a true film historian and an extremely gifted film critic.

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?Yes, the only fault with Treasure of Sierra Madre that I could pick up on out of all she said is that there were no female characters.?

 

That?s sort of a dumb remark. Apparently she isn?t aware that movie showings in theaters back in the ?40s were double features. In double-feature programs, there were often adventure films for men and boys and romance films for ladies and girls, plus a cartoon, plus a short subject. The double-feature schedules were set up for the whole family, and there were plenty enough movies with both men and women in them. They didn't design movies back then to satisfy a 21st Century feminist critic.

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> I have a minor problem with Molly Haskell giving

> critical commentary on TCM for the following reason:

> she's a devoted feminist whose opinions tend to be

> skewed toward her own research.

>

> Personally, I don't think that any commentator on a

> classic movie network - 'historian' 'critic' 'author

> of countless critical feminist literature' - should

> be given the opportunity to formulate perspectives on

> such main staples as 'Treasure' that are more in tune

> with speculative theorizations rather than providing

> solid historical backdrop on the movie that is being

> viewed. NOT EVER FLICK CAN BE A CHICK FLICK or

> PRESENT FEMALE CHARACTERS IN A FLATTERING LIGHT. Such

> is the fate of appealing to broad tastes rather than

> narrow theoretical discourse.

>

> Robert Osborne is very much a man of unobtrusive

> knowledge - he provides backstory not backlash to

> every movie he introduces. He keeps personal opinion

> to himself and never suggests that his audience keep

> anything but an open mind while viewing the films

> showcased on TCM. That's the hallmark of a true film

> historian and an extremely gifted film critic.

 

Thanks, that's definitely the impression I got from what I saw Saturday night. She should be more objective about that aspect.

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bradtexasranger wrote -

"I was watching Treasure of the Sierra Madre last night on the Essentials. The female host( sorry, can't remember her name) ended up saying she thought it was a "little overrated". She seemed reluctant to say that much, she only did after a little prodding from Robert Osborn. She seemed to imply it was because there were no female roles."

 

I watched the intro last night and I remember Molly Haskell questioning the development of Bogart's character as her main problem with the film. She stated that Bogart starts as a hapless, likeable bum and becomes this ruthless greedy villain without a clear exposition explaining the change. Perhaps that is a valid criticism but I immediately thought to myself that the ripping-off of Bogart and Holt by the exploitive foreman was a pretty good catalyst for a change of attitude by Fred C Dobbs. But the total paranoia that develops later does come suddenly when it it may have been better developed gradually.

 

As to the comment about "no women", I missed that. And to which I say "Bah!"

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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Darn it!! I'm so used to seeing 'the essentials' repeated on Sunday, that I commented earlier that I would watch the repeat, I forgot about the special month thing. Any way re: Molly Haskell and women, what the heck would a woman be doing in this particular film? Some movies you just don't expect to see women, and the ones that do only have them in to pull in women's viewing. Some 'mens' movies with women are simply stupid. 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea' allways gives me a belly laugh...seing Barbara Eden tripping around the submarine in her high heels cracks me up. One of my favorite movies is 'The Women' as I've stated before, A GREAT CHICK FLICK, NO MEN, but they're not needed, when they did the re-make, they added men and ruined the whole thing. On the other hand for 'To Hell and Back' they threw in a romance for Audie Murphy, Why(?), the girls actually detracted from the story of the (until then) most decorated American war hero ever.

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I'm so glad I'm not the only person out there who thought this stuff! I didn't catch the essentials, but I have noticed before that I did not like Molly Haskel. Or however you spell her name. She just doesn't really seem to be enjoying herself. It seems that Mr. Osborne has to pry answers out of her and that it's a fake conversation. Does anyone know how long these certain programmers usu stay on? I've been on tcm for about a year and a half, so...

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> I'm so glad I'm not the only person out there who

> thought this stuff! I didn't catch the essentials,

> but I have noticed before that I did not like Molly

> Haskel. Or however you spell her name. She just

> doesn't really seem to be enjoying herself. It seems

> that Mr. Osborne has to pry answers out of her and

> that it's a fake conversation. Does anyone know how

> long these certain programmers usu stay on? I've

> been on tcm for about a year and a half, so...

 

I get the feeling she doesn't want to be there at all. The whole thing seems totally forced ; you're right, Robert Osbourn does have to pry answers out of her. It appears they really don't get along at all and have zero chemistry.

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If anyone watched tonight's Essential (Written on the Wind (1956)) intro, if not the movie, they finally saw a more animated Ms. Haskell, who was excited about this film. In fact, she passionately defended it, not allowing Robert Osborne to use the word 'kitsch' (which I too think is apt, for most Douglas Sirk films) to describe it. Whether you agree with her opinions or not, it was a more interesting discussion this evening than most of this season's Essential airings. For those who missed it, you won't get another chance to see it given this month's Summer Under the Stars format (Sunday is Walter Matthau, and tomorrow at 6 PM ET will be Plaza Suite (1971) instead).

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