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Summer Under the Stars August 2014 Schedule on TCM

Discussion of programming on TCM.

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Re: Summer Under the Stars August 2014 Schedule on TCM

Postby moira finnie » August 25th, 2014, 9:15 am

There's an underrated actor-director-television pioneer being celebrated today on TCM. Do you prefer the singing serenader Dick Powell of the '30s or the sarcastic shamus Dick Powell of the '40s?

"The best thing about switching from being an actor to being a director is that you don't have to shave or hold your stomach in anymore." - Dick Powell on his evolution as a performer.

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Re: Summer Under the Stars August 2014 Schedule on TCM

Postby kingrat » August 25th, 2014, 12:01 pm

Tonight's West Coast prime time trio of Murder, My Sweet; Dames; and The Bad and the Beautiful is wildly entertaining, not to be missed if you've never seen them.

The next movie, The Tall Target, though not one of Anthony Mann's greatest, is also recommended. Dick Powell plays the detective trying to stop a plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln before his inauguration. You'll love Ruby Dee's supporting performance as a beautiful young slave.

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Re: Summer Under the Stars August 2014 Schedule on TCM

Postby jdb1 » August 25th, 2014, 1:42 pm

I enjoy Powell the boy soprano, although some of his singing can be a bit too gooey for me. I really like the mature, hard-bitten Powell better.

Considering his career as a successful movie and TV mogul, I imagine the tougher guy is a lot more like the real guy. He made the transition gracefully, and obviously the public accepted it. My favorite later period Powell movie is "Cornered."

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Re: Summer Under the Stars August 2014 Schedule on TCM

Postby moira finnie » August 25th, 2014, 5:12 pm

Found myself caught up in The Pitfall (1948) this afternoon--Powell is a believable husband and father. Loved Jimmy Hunt's somewhat annoying little boy whose behavior seems to mirror his parents' tension. Just as good as the first time I saw this one--and I still feel sorry for Raymond Burr's lovesick brute.
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Re: Summer Under the Stars August 2014 Schedule on TCM

Postby JackFavell » August 25th, 2014, 5:14 pm

I like Pitfall, too, Moira. I guess I really like Dick Powell... I've seen a lot of his films and like them.

Love Cornered for Powell's rough, angry performance; his quietness in The Tall Target; his humor in Murder My Sweet and The Bad and the Beautiful. But I actually like Powell as the boy singer...he's SO much better than any of the other boy singers from the thirties (Kenny Baker ...ugh) and Powell's good natured, relaxed way with a line is refreshing in those arch early 1930's films.

One of my favorites from the thirties is Hard to Get with Olivia de Havilland...he only sings one number but it's a great one, perfectly suited to him - You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby. This film is one of those not quite screwball comedies, but it was a pleasure to discover. I always watch when it's on. I rank it with good lesser known comedies like Young in Heart, Joy of Living, The Ghost Goes West, Having Wonderful Time, Bachelor Mother...etc. (is it weird that 2/3d's of these star Doug Fairbanks, Jr.?)

I'll also admit to loving Powell's It Happened Tomorrow, and also the sublimely ridiculous You Never Can Tell and Susan Slept Here in which Powell uses his irritable-ness to great effect.

I'm actually quite excited for 3 films on Arlene Dahl day, albeit not necessarily for Dahl herself.

She Played With Fire is a nice taut thriller with Jack Hawkins. VERY enjoyable.

The Black Book with Robert Cummings is not to be missed. The cinematography by John Alton is beautiful! Thanks ChiO for this recommendation.

I've seen the interstitials for Wicked As They Come. For those who like bitchy femmes fatales, or who didn't get enough Herbert Marshall on his day, this one looks like a lot of sleazy fun.

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Re: Summer Under the Stars August 2014 Schedule on TCM

Postby Vecchiolarry » August 25th, 2014, 10:48 pm

Hi Wendy,

I do like Arlene Dahl; she is absolutely gorgeous with real red hair - and I love just to look at her!!

"Wicked As They Come" gives her a preditary female role, a la Barbara Stanwyck in "Baby Face"; but wish they'd programmed "Slightly Scarlet" too. That has Rhonda Fleming with Arlene and would give me two to drool over!!!
Just call me 'letch' for short......

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Re: Summer Under the Stars August 2014 Schedule on TCM

Postby JackFavell » August 26th, 2014, 4:20 pm

Hard not to be a letch with those two redheads. Gorgeous! :D

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Re: Summer Under the Stars August 2014 Schedule on TCM

Postby Rita Hayworth » August 27th, 2014, 1:58 pm

I'm looking forward in seeing D.O.A and Seven Days in May tonight on TCM ... I haven't seen D.O.A for years and it's considered one of the best film noir classics of all time. Excellent Film ... and a great Cast too.

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Re: Summer Under the Stars August 2014 Schedule on TCM

Postby moira finnie » August 27th, 2014, 2:22 pm

It's not a great role for Edmond O'Brien who plays a young lawyer, but An Act of Murder (1948), about a couple facing the mortality of one of them, was groundbreaking in its day. Geraldine Brooks gave one of her early, glowing performances in the role of the couple's daughter. The movie gave Florence Eldridge the best film role she would ever have--and Fredric March is at his anguished best here too. The movie premieres on TCM at 9:30pm (ET).
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Re: Summer Under the Stars August 2014 Schedule on TCM

Postby Western Guy » August 27th, 2014, 2:43 pm

Agree about D.O.A., Erik. A film I never seem to tire of. And of course any film featuring Neville Brand as a psychopath is definitely worth watching.

Still trying to figure who takes the honor for sociopathic screen villainy of that time: Tommy Udo or Chester.

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Re: Summer Under the Stars August 2014 Schedule on TCM

Postby kingrat » August 27th, 2014, 3:15 pm

JF, thanks for the heads up about She Played With Fire. Wicked as They Come is a title which may promise more than it delivers in the way of femme fatale villainy, but it's worth a watch. And thank you so much for your wonderful post on Lasse Hallstrom.

For Betty Grable day on Saturday, I definitely want to see I Wake Up Screaming. Any other recommendations for a Grable title or two? How To Marry a Millionaire is one of the few Grable films I've seen. It's hard to realize today what a big star she was, in the top 10 box office ranks for quite a few years.

Did anyone happen to see the intro to The Key on Sophia Loren day? I'm delighted that this fine film got such a prominent time slot, but forgot to record it this time.

Speaking of Sophia, I had seen Lady L the last time it was on. Pleasant to look at, but Peter Ustinov doesn't really know how to pace the film, shape the individual scenes, or point the dialogue. A comedy this artificial needs the expert hand of a Lubitsch or a Wilder to get the tone right. Last night I watched Arabesque, and will comment a little on it in the What Films Have You Seen Recently? thread.

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Re: Summer Under the Stars August 2014 Schedule on TCM

Postby JackFavell » August 27th, 2014, 7:53 pm

Hey, Kingrat!

How to Marry a Millionaire is pure guilty pleasure. A movie I can't pass up when it's on.

I saw I Wake Up Screaming fairly recently and fell for it, hook, line and sinker. No couple looks better in black and white than Betty Grable and Victor Mature...they contrast so perfectly that it takes my breath away! Both are terribly appealing in this movie...Betty never acted better and Mature has a role that really plays to his strengths. Luscious cinematography by Edward J. Cronjager is a highlight of the film, but there are many other reasons to watch: Laird Cregar's wonderfully creepy and tragic presence... both he and Carole Landis add depth to the picture. Landis also adds some spice to the film as a femme who has men eating out of her hands. A terrific supporting cast includes Alan Mowbray and Allyn Joslyn, and I'd be remiss not to mention the snappy dialogue. It's a fun, glossy, great looking and well acted film.

I am going to assume you've seen The Gay Divorcee, which is always worth watching. Betty has a minor role... she gets to woo Edward Everett Horton (!!!!) in the number "Let's Knock Knees". Follow the Fleet is also a must see, but not really for Betty.

I haven't seen ANY of the other 1930's Grable films, at least that I remember. I'm looking forward to them.

Although I prefer Moon Over Miami (also with Landis), Down Argentine Way is my second favorite Betty Grable musical and is arguably the better picture. Both films should only be watched for the most superficial of reasons - the good looks and good naturedness of the cast, lavish costumes and sets, and of course, the beautiful Technicolor. This one boasts Carmen Miranda at her best...And DON'T miss THE NICHOLAS BROTHERS....the most brilliant film dancers of all time. Sorry Gene and Fred.... and Betty.

I haven't seen The Dolly Sisters or Mother Wore Tights since I was a young'un. I enjoyed the former HUGELY at age 9. I'm looking forward to seeing it again. Hope it's good! :D

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Re: Summer Under the Stars August 2014 Schedule on TCM

Postby Rita Hayworth » August 28th, 2014, 12:35 am

Western Guy wrote:Agree about D.O.A., Erik. A film I never seem to tire of. And of course any film featuring Neville Brand as a psychopath is definitely worth watching.

Still trying to figure who takes the honor for sociopathic screen villainy of that time: Tommy Udo or Chester.



I will watch that movie tomorrow because I miss it the first time around and I'm glad that I recorded it off my DVR. i just came back from the Dentist with a major filling to be replace and I was donk out cold for 5 hours and just before I left for the Dentist - I recorded that movie D.O.A.

I hope to have a report of it sometimes tomorrow ... :)

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Re: Summer Under the Stars August 2014 Schedule on TCM

Postby Rita Hayworth » August 28th, 2014, 8:08 am

Western Guy wrote:Agree about D.O.A., Erik. A film I never seem to tire of. And of course any film featuring Neville Brand as a psychopath is definitely worth watching.

Still trying to figure who takes the honor for sociopathic screen villainy of that time: Tommy Udo or Chester.



Stone, I just finished watching D.O.A and one thing that I find it very nerve-racking (I don't think it's the right words) but anyway - I find the performances of Neville Brand (Chester) and Laurette Luez (Marla) very noteworthy and I was very pleased by their own performance in this movie.

It's has a great opening sequence and Edmond O'Brien and Pamela Britton did not failed to entertain me and I find this movie moving along with a mind of it's own and most of all it's has all the making of a classic film noir. I liked the sequence at the The Fisherman - a nightclub of which he drank the poisoned drink and all went downhill after that.

It was very good film and I certainly enjoyed it.

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Re: Summer Under the Stars August 2014 Schedule on TCM

Postby Western Guy » August 28th, 2014, 10:58 am

Glad you enjoyed it, Erik. It's long been a fave. Man, Brand's gunman Chester gets more frightening each time I watch the film - especially those twitchy facial movements and his creepy vocal tones as he drives O'Brien through the streets to his intended doom ("Gonna give it to you in the belly. Nice and slow."). I mentioned earlier that my mom was scared of Brand and found it hard to watch him without cringing - yet apparently (when sober) he was a very nice man. But . . . according to my pal Steve Hayes who knew Brand back in the day, Neville did have his demons. Always thought the quintessential "tough guy" movie should have featured Brand, Leo Gordon and Lawrence Tierney. But I wouldn't want to be the one to direct it.


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