Forums

Welcome Guest 

Show/Hide Header

Welcome Guest, posting in this forum requires registration.





Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 >> Last
Author Topic: Turner Classic Movies
Brad-
Nelson
Administrator
Posts: 1974
Permalink
Brad Nelson
Post Re: Turner Classic Movies
on: November 6, 2018, 10:27
Quote

I haven’t seen Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner in a long time. But the cast is superb and the subject matter dynamite.

The African Queen is one of my favorites (due for a re-viewing one of these days) and I would argue it’s the best dialogue ever written for Hepburn.

This is arguably Bogie’s best work. And arguably John Huston’s best work.

Bogart won the Oscar (edging out Brando for A Streetcar Named Desire and Clift in A Place in the Sun). Hepburn was nominated but lost to Vivien Leigh for A Streetcar Named Desire. There’s probably an overall justice that neither “Streetcar” nor “Queen” took the top honors but split them.

Huston was nominated for Best Director but lost to George Stevens for A Place in the Sun. Think about the absolute junk that now makes its way to the Oscar finalists and then think back to 1952 and ask yourself if all questions of earlier good taste can be dismissed as nostalgia.

Very few films can work with story being almost exclusively about two characters. “Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison” is one that worked for Mitchum and Kerr. There are no doubt others, but those are two that stand out and show how rare that is.

Hepburn is drop-dead terrific in “Queen.” Never been better. And her shrillness serves a purpose. In her younger films, the rat-a-tat-tat dialogue along with her shrillness served only to make me long for earmuffs.

I admire Huston most for “The Maltese Falcon,” “Key Largo,” “The Asphalt Jungle,” “Heaven Knows, Mr Allison,” and “The Man Who Would Be King.” But perhaps “Queen” is his supreme effort.

From the trivia section at IMDB, I didn’t know:

Lauren Bacall famously ventured along for the filming in Africa to be with husband Humphrey Bogart. She played den mother during the trip, making camp and cooking. This also marked the beginning of her life-long friendship with Katharine Hepburn.

I suspect Hepburn wasn’t that easy to get along with…and that Bogie and Huston did so well together because they could enjoy their drinking session on their time off.

It’s easy to forget that sometimes these actors earn their pay. And they were not all forever snowflakes:

According to cameraman Jack Cardiff, Katharine Hepburn was so sick with dysentery during shooting of the church scene that a bucket was placed off camera because she vomited constantly between takes. Cardiff called her "a real trooper." In her book "The Making of 'The African Queen'" Hepburn said she rushed for the outhouse only to find a black mamba inside, then ran to the trees.

Bogies reaction to the filming is interesting as well:

Humphrey Bogart hated Africa immediately and was miserable, but Katharine Hepburn adored it, calling it "utterly divine." Bogie complained about everything: the heat, the humidity, the dangers, the food. He recalled, "While I was griping, Katie was in her glory. She couldn't pass a fern or berry without wanting to know its pedigree, and insisted on getting the Latin name for everything she saw walking, swimming, flying or crawling. I wanted to cut our ten-week schedule, but the way she was wallowing in the stinking hole, we'd be there for years.”

Whether this bit is true or not, it’s in the trivia section:

To show her disgust with the amount of alcohol that John Huston and Humphrey Bogart consumed during filming, Katharine Hepburn drank only water. As a result, she suffered a severe bout of dysentery.

It’s interesting to note that The African Queen now is moored in Key Largo. It’s available for daily canal cruises. I guess that’s a good thing but for me it would be like filling up the original Ark of the Covenant with ice and brewskis and taking it on a picnic to the beach. Something about that just doesn’t set right. FYI, for a 1-1/2 hour cruise it’s only $59.00. $29.50 for children ages 4 to 12.

Timothy-
Lane
Moderator
Posts: 1887
Permalink
Post Re: Turner Classic Movies
on: November 6, 2018, 11:30
Quote

Mike Resnick, frequent Africa visitor, has noted that African water sources are loaded with disease-causing parasites (aside from Lake Malawi). Water has to be boiled, which would be a lot better with tea or coffee added in. (Ice usually isn't a good idea because they don't boil the water before freezing it.)

Well, if Hepburn hadn't escaped that black mamba unbitten, her career would have ended abruptly. They're probably the least desirable snake to encounter in Africa, though a case might be made for the poison-spitting ringhals cobra from southern Africa. (Sounds rather like a leftist. I've made the comparison before.)

Well, I'm definitely familiar with The Maltese Falcon and The Man Who Would Be King. The latter, of course, benefits from having Michael Caine and Sean Connery as the two conniving soldiers who seek to establish a kingdom to loot in Kafiristan. One could say it's one of those basically about two characters.

Timothy-
Lane
Moderator
Posts: 1887
Permalink
Post Re: Turner Classic Movies
on: November 7, 2018, 09:24
Quote

TCM has another good one tonight, The Agony and the Ecstasy at 8 p.m. EST. It's hard to go wrong with Charlton Heston and Rex Harrison. Come to think of it, it's another one dominated by two characters.

Timothy-
Lane
Moderator
Posts: 1887
Permalink
Post Re: Turner Classic Movies
on: November 25, 2018, 19:28
Quote

I'm watching Holiday Inn now. Ben Mankiewicz, introducing the movie, pointed out that the blackface sequence for "Abraham" was controversial and often excluded. He pointed out that TCM presents its movies uncut, but wanted to warn any snowflakes (not that he phrased it that way, of course) to beware.

And I will say that Jim (played by Bing Crosby) quickly shows himself to be a total idiot in thinking that living on a working farm would allow him to be a lot lazier than working as an entertainer. And it only takes him a year to figure it out and decide what to do. And for a fine dancer, his character sure is clumsy. But that black farm family look like they're ready to steal the show.

It's understandable, but regrettable, that he doesn't include the introductory part of "White Christmas". Of course that's set in southern California, but so few people sing the whole song (one exception is Barbra Streisand).

Brad-
Nelson
Administrator
Posts: 1974
Permalink
Brad Nelson
Post Re: Turner Classic Movies
on: November 26, 2018, 08:49
Quote

That’s interesting that TCM acted like a civilized company and gave a reasoned introduction. Kudos to them for not caving to the Nazis of Nice, the Satans of Sensitivity, the Terrors of Tolerance.

I had sort of assumed that Jim had stashed away enough money in order to work when he wanted. But if he thought there would be less work in maintaining an inn and a working farm, those illusions was quickly dashed. As lightly corny as it is, I love the scene of him falling off the roof into the snow. It graphically demonstrates that he was somewhat over his head.

What I love about the movie too is that they still had as separate holidays Washington’s birthday and Lincoln’s birthday. We’ve done the nation a great disservice by munging it all into a nondescript “President’s Day” — as if either Obama or Nixon is worthy to be amongst that same company.

That’s funny, because the first time I can remember hearing the intro to “White Christmas” is on a old player piano roll that my father had (who also had a mostly working player piano). It’s a beautiful piece of music.

Any thoughts on how they did the pyrotechnics in the firecracker dance?

Timothy-
Lane
Moderator
Posts: 1887
Permalink
Post Re: Turner Classic Movies
on: November 26, 2018, 09:05
Quote

Actually, he initially just wanted to be a farmer because it would be less work than performing (giggle, chortle, belly laugh). After he found out what that meant, he decided to convert the farm house to an inn only open for holidays (with entertainment). Presumably he sold off the farmland, since otherwise he was just paying taxes on it for nothing.

Actually, I understand that the legal name of the holiday is still Washington's Birthday, though President's Day is the common term for it. After all, I think it's defined as the third Monday in February, which can never be February 22 . Of course, they could do a two-fer February 11 (the day Washington was born -- he adjusted it by 11 days when the English adopted the Gregorian calendar) and February 12 (Lincoln's birthday).

Note that neither Valentine's Day nor Easter is an actual holiday. In fact, I wonder what the 15 holidays were, since Black Identity Politics Day (aka Martin Luther King's birthday) came much later. There probably had to be at least one more non-holiday -- maybe Arbor Day or Flag Day. Since they gave Easter as April 5 and Thanksgiving as November 27, it would be interesting to see if that matched any year in that period (most logically 1942).

Brad-
Nelson
Administrator
Posts: 1974
Permalink
Brad Nelson
Post Re: Turner Classic Movies
on: November 26, 2018, 10:54
Quote

I generally like Holiday Inn, although I find Astaire’s character to be too thin and even distasteful at times. They run his “I want to steal Crosby’s chick” shtick into the ground. Astaire comes off more like a sociopath than a kind of friendly rivalry.

But then that might reflect the truly patched-together nature of the film. Apparently Berlin had some songs already written and an idea to do a movie about the holidays. And it’s probably a wonder the story works as well as it does.

When they did White Christmas the story was much more complete and the rivalries a little more tame and good-natured. I hope you’ll get a chance to view White Christmas soon or again. It’s on my holiday rotation list. I’ll queue that up in the next week or two.

Timothy-
Lane
Moderator
Posts: 1887
Permalink
Post Re: Turner Classic Movies
on: November 26, 2018, 11:31
Quote

I've seen White Christmas. Whether I see it this year depends on whether someone (aka TCM, pretty much) has it at a convenient time. I can understand what you mean about the Astaire-Crosby relationship. As it happens, due to MeTV having a Night Gallery I had never seen before at 11:30 p.m. last night, I didn't see the ending, switching over after the Thanksgiving scene. I would have watched it under other circumstances, but I also suspected I could do without seeing the ending. Wikipedia already told me what happened anyway. Having the first major commercial break a little earlier would have been nice, though.

Brad-
Nelson
Administrator
Posts: 1974
Permalink
Brad Nelson
Post Re: Turner Classic Movies
on: November 26, 2018, 18:44
Quote

but I also suspected I could do without seeing the ending.

The bit of schmaltz with Bing hiding behind the Christmas tree on the set where Linda Mason is doing a movie is basically the ending. They sing White Christmas together and we can suppose that she had again chose Bing and the Inn for her future. (This had gone back and forth at least a couple times, if not three times with various women.)

But who knows? She seems awful flighty. Moving to another show while the other is in progress is a sure sign it isn’t holding one’s interest.

Timothy-
Lane
Moderator
Posts: 1887
Permalink
Post Re: Turner Classic Movies
on: December 10, 2018, 16:22
Quote

Last night, TCM had some interesting movies that I watched. At 8:00 EST they had It Happened on 5th Avenue, which has been discussed here elsewhere. I enjoyed it, which is good because I missed the second episode of FNC's Scandalous: Chappaquiddick for it. Then at 10:15 they had O. Henry's Full House, with versions of 5 of his stories. I missed one because it was opposite a MeTV Night Gallery with 2 short episodes I hadn't seen before (but did enjoy). But I did get to see "The Ransom of Red Chief" (which I read in 9th grade) and "The Gift of the Magi" (which I believe is included in the Poetry and Fiction section here).

They telegraphed somewhat the ending on "The Ransom of Red Chief". His parents are about to have dinner and decide to set a place for their son even though they haven't seen him in a couple of days, figuring that eventually he's going to be hungry. Then they see the two crooks put a sack over him and haul him off. Their reaction is to conclude (rightly) that they're probably from out of town.

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 >> Last
Mingle Forum by cartpauj
Version: 1.0.34 ; Page loaded in: 0.296 seconds.