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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).

 

Never seen "Written on the Wind", but from the clips I've seen, it looks like drivel. I have no clue how she could be more excited about that film than "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" "ugh" is all I can say.

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I did see the opening "debate." I was definitely on her side. Don't know why Osborne didn't like it, and was a little shocked that he said so! But, anyway, WOTW is one of MY favorite 50's movies. I like all four of the STARS, Robert Stack (Should have won the oscar! What a boon to his career that might have been!), Dorothy Malone (Who did win the oscar!), Rock Hudson and Lauren Bacall. Great costumes, great scenery, great "overacting," great cars, and great stroy, apparently based on the wealthy R.J.Reynolds' family. Isn't that what Molly said?

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The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is a " 10 ", Written on the Wind barely makes a two .------See no exclamation points, no leftist banter, and not references to be Irish. I know that will please at least two posters.

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Well, here goes my opinion,I happened to like WRITTEN ON THE WIND for its soap opera-ish take on the story.All of the actors did exceptional work,the direction seemed up to par,the cinematography was great,costumes were appropriate.I can't think of one thing bad about this movie.Rock Hudson is a plus in any movie.

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> Well, here goes my opinion,I happened to like WRITTEN

> ON THE WIND for its soap opera-ish take on the

> story.All of the actors did exceptional work,the

> direction seemed up to par,the cinematography was

> great,costumes were appropriate.I can't think of one

> thing bad about this movie.Rock Hudson is a plus in

> any movie.

 

Douglas Sirk was known for his soap opera type films, His Imitation of Life is a classic.I just don't care for Written on the Wind.

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In answer to the original question about whether or not the hosts should provide their personal opinions about the films shown--I say yes, in moderation. I like the background info that Mr. Osborne gives and I also like to hear his and Ben's feelings about the films. I will decide for myself what MY opinion is after I watch it, but I still like to hear what others think. I haven't seen any of the intros with Molly Haskell, so I can't comment on that. BUT I would LOVE IT if Jeanine Basinger were to co-host The Essentials! Her book, A Woman's View, is FABULOUS.

 

Sandy K

 

Message was edited by:

sandykaypax

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[nobr]As JackBurley indicates, Mr. M interjects a little good-natured sarcasm now and then, and I've noted Bob O report something negatively critical here and there, when applicable.[/nobr]

 

Indeed, for the Essential intro of Written On The Wind, Bob O fairly hammered the flick, dismissing it as kitschy which Mollypop took exception to, and I rather liked that it wasn't the usual listening-in on the minutes of a mutual appreciation club, for a change.

 

But they kept the wee debate mature and level-headed.

Perhaps it was intended as a primer for some of 'discussions' hereabouts?

Which sometimes get more like this . . .

[nobr]sterb322.gifsterb321.gif[/nobr]

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Molly Haskell completely lacks warmth or friendliness on the screen and is a very poor choice for a co-host of "The Essentials". She also seems completely disinterested most of the time in the movies themselves (this is also very much in her writing, I find her pieces and her book on women in films {from THIRTY years ago} as dull as dishwater.) She usually comes off this way as well in other formats (ie: documentaries on stars or films) so don't blame the TCM directors or writers or whoever.

 

And the idea that WRITTEN ON THE WIND should be considered an "essential" film is absolutely ridiculous!! It's a good soap opera, but not much more. Apparently, they let her pick some of the titles in the series and if she chose this it says a lot about her her lack of understanding what is important in film history and what isn't (ditto her comments about SIERRA MADRE). Robert Osborne was totally on target for dismissing WIND (I missed this little debate since I didn't see the show) I'm sure he must have been APPALLED that she chose it as being an essential in the first place, as would most film critics.

 

Hopefully, Ms. Haskell's contract will not be renewed a nd we will get someone with more conventional tastes.

 

Haskell may also be behind the decision for naming Douglas Sirk's remake of IMITATION OF LIFE "essential" as well and while that film has a much better rep than WIND it is still far inferior to the original version which is widely recognized for it's historic place in film history (it's one of the films in the National Film Registry, for one) .

 

Sorry, Sirk was a kitschy filmmaker and while he has his little band of fans among some of the "auteur" film critics, he is kind of the Louise Brooks of directors, someone whose cult fan base has blown up his legacy as if they were on par with the true greats.

 

A few years ago I read an interview with Lauren Bacall, WIND's leading lady and I believe she said "I don't know what the hell these critics today see in Sirk." I'm with Bacall!!

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GarboManiac-

 

I agree with you.

 

Written On The Wind, in my estimation, is a brilliant film.

 

Very surreal in its production, yet, paradoxically, very realistic in its subject matter.

 

Exquisite symbolism resounds through the film, starting with the syrupy song during the opening credits which deliberately presents the perceived-realism theme aurally as the obvious realism-that-is-being-denied is presented visually, a denied reality that is about to come crashing home to the principals' consciousness in the "golden years" of Autumn represented by the wind which blows the dead leaves into (and thereby intruding upon the faux reality of) the sterile 'home.'

 

And I like, as Ms Haskell noted, how colours are symbolically utilised vis-?-vis the characters' natures and the characters' relation to the plot.

 

Can't say I fancied The Tarnished Angels, though (despite Faulkner's blessing upon it). Found it blas? where Written On The Wind is brilliant, literally and figuratively.

 

And, in Written On The Wind, it was the first time I regarded Robert Stack as having something to offer in terms of solid acting; usually, I regard him as cardboard filler in whatever film he is in.

 

Yes, Ms Haskell was quite right in her appraisal of this film, which was a new film to me. And, I suspect, Mr. Osborne 'came round, as the saying goes.

 

Actually, I had previewed it on a VHS-taped copy I had, and on that one, Mr. Osborne had positive criticism to laud on the film, so go figure. :-)

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I so don't care for Molly Haskell. She's got a slant to her that does not bode well with the classics. It's as though ever compliment she offers in her history comes with the caveat of "yes, but..." Enough with the "these aren't feminist friendly flicks" undercurrent that seems to accompany every overview. YEEEUUCCKK!!!

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> I feel like Osborne could talk me into watching

> anything. He is the perfect host for the programming

> on this channel. When I think of TCM, I think of

> Robert Osborne.

>

>

> -----------------------------------------

> /// Alfred Hitchcock Fans: Online \

> \http://www.HitchcockFans.com///

> -----------------------------------------

 

I agree that TCM and Osbourn are a perfect fit. Whenever I watch a classic movie On Demand, I'm always bummed I won't hear his comments...........lol. Can't imagine TCM without him, he's like a pair of comfortable slippers.

 

Brad

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Well, she did it again ... and I don't mean to pick on her. If anyone watched last night's TCM Essential intro to Gunga Din (1939), a film which Robert Osborne said would be in his top 5, Molly Haskell said it was like "Animal House in India" with all the childish, bad boy behavior. Kudos to 'Bob' for not jumping out of his chair at her;-)

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[nobr]//like "Animal House in India" with all the childish, bad boy behavior//[/nobr]

 

I liked that comment.

I found it very perceptive.

That is how the lads behave (more power to them!)

 

What struck me was that she indicated she had never seen it before, and that this follows Osborne not caring for Written On The Wind.

 

So I'm wondering . . . what the hell do these films have to do with being scheduled as Essentials if, on one hand, one host doesn't like the flick, and, on the other hand, the other host hasn't even seen it before????

[nobr]249.gif[/nobr]

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When Molly Haskel is on I turn off the sound on the TV. But if you are a professional Movie Critic, which Ms Haskel has been for over thirty years how could you not have seen " Gunga Din " which is a Classic and made nearly seventy years ago ! Some critic !

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> When Molly Haskel is on I turn off the sound on the

> TV. But if you are a professional Movie Critic, which

> Ms Haskel has been for over thirty years how could

> you not have seen " Gunga Din " which is a Classic

> and made nearly seventy years ago ! Some critic !

 

And how can she she say it's like "Animal House in India" if she hasn't seen it. Are you sure you heard right, she had to have seen it.

 

Brad

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Man, I'm shocked to hear that a critic as prominent as Molly Haskell never saw Gunga Din until recently! You'd think she would've viewed it just to check out the work of a seminal golden age filmmaker like George Stevens, not to mention Cary Grant! Even if she assumed that it was a "guy film" and of no personal interest to her, wouldn't you have thought that her hubby Andrew Sarris would've brought it to her attention? I guess this proves that we shouldn't be too cowed by the opinions of any critic, no matter how well known! Well, I thank my lucky stars that I stumbled on this film long before I even learned to read, and have loved its antic charm and high adventure all my life. But then, I was always a tomboy.

 

I like the fact that Osborne and Haskell are both expressing some opposing opinions about the movies being shown during this season of The Essentials, even though I don't agree with Moll's other slightly negative comments about The Treasure of the Sierra Madre or Gunga Din. Btw, I really think that Robert Osborne was spot on about Written on the Wind being too baroque, even though I realize that others love its campy dramatics. I think that Douglas Sirk's other, quieter, more understated films such as Tarnished Angels & All That Heaven Allows are more interesting, and carefully observed movies reflecting some kernels of truth about the human experience.

 

Does anyone else like the tag team approach to hosting The Essentials? I hope that TCM might continue to seek out two individuals to host again in the future.

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moira,

 

If they continue the tag team approach to the Essentials, I hope they are able to get Jeanine Basinger to spar with Bob. She is much more personable on camera than poor Molly. Last time I watched the Essentials, Molly looked like a deer caught in the headlights. I don't know if the camera just doesn't like her or she doesn't like being on camera or what, but the poor woman looks like she would rather be anywhere but on that set.

 

As for not seeing "Gunga Din", I'm shocked. (No, really). This is one of the best known film critics of her generation and to have not watched this movie before makes no sense. Maybe the writers thought this one up.

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"Does anyone else like the tag team approach to hosting The Essentials? I hope that TCM might continue to seek out two individuals to host again in the future."

 

I truly appreciate the "tag team" approach. I enjoy hearing different perspectives of the films. There are many ways to watch a movie, and to hear different viewpoints is interesting even [perhaps especially!) when I don't agree with them.

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[nobr]//this proves that we shouldn't be too cowed by the opinions of any critic//[/nobr]

A salient point that.

 

//I really think that Robert Osborne was spot on about Written on the Wind being too baroque, even though I realize that others love its campy dramatics. I think that Douglas Sirk's other, quieter, more understated films such as Tarnished Angels//

I disagree, for I regard Sirk's talent as being best when conveyed extremely.

 

//Does anyone else like the tag team approach to hosting//

I do.

But not as an aspect of TheEssentials, for I have understood that title term as pertaining to films which are indisputable examples of quintessential cinema, not as a venue to promote personal favourites which are arguably essential.

 

I think TheEssentials should continue to be assigned to directors and, peradventure, a new AtTheMovies-esque gig should be established, as well, to allow for debate.

 

 

 

[nobr]527.gif[/nobr]

S A M

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