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The September 2014 Schedule for TCM

Discussion of programming on TCM.

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kingrat
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Re: The September 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby kingrat » September 8th, 2014, 11:14 am

Maven, the "No Talent Joe" number should indeed make you think of Jane Russell's number from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes because Jack Cole choreographed both of them. He was apparently given free rein to indulge his own fantasies.

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JackFavell
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Re: The September 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby JackFavell » September 9th, 2014, 1:01 pm

kingrat wrote:Maven, the "No Talent Joe" number should indeed make you think of Jane Russell's number from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes because Jack Cole choreographed both of them. He was apparently given free rein to indulge his own fantasies.


and thankfully some of ours. :D

************************************************************

I watched On Approval and Exit Smiling last night, and although they probably didn't begin to show half of Bea Lillie's comedic talents, I enjoyed them immensely for what they were.

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On Approval by Frederick Lonsdale was adapted by, directed by and starred Clive Brook... who blew me away! Brook was funny! He somehow combined stuffiness and naughtiness in such an engaging way that I couldn't help but snicker through the entire movie. The switch on the typical boy-meets-girl-but-falls-for-best-friend-instead plot was wonderfully adapted to make fun of marriage. It showed, in much the same way Mr. and Mrs. Smith does, that couples would never marry if they actually lived together beforehand....knowing how horrible the other one was in everyday life would naturally kill any inclination ever to marry. The pace was excellent, the characters were deluded enough to make me laugh out loud a few times, and there were some surprises which kept me interested and well entertained. The dialogue was snappy, if not sparkling. The conceit of having characters stay together under the same roof before marriage 'on approval' was just shocking enough for me to enjoy it, since American films of that time would never have allowed such a thing to be shown. It was nice to see something saucy like this in the forties, especially in a costumed drawing-room comedy.

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Lillie rules the roost in this comedy of marriage and manners.

Bea Lillie was surprisingly elegant and engaging as an autocratic middle aged noblewoman who thinks herself quite a catch....until told off at the end by her eager-to-please lover. Her delivery was clipped and to the point. What would be unbearably honest in a real person was delightful in a screen character. I liked her in spite of her vanity, and the same goes for Brook's character. The quartet of players - Brook and Lillie as the overbearing objects of affection who can't stand one another, and demure Googie Withers and Roland Culver as the unassuming, undemonstrative worshipers from afar - were all on the same page style-wise. The quips were quick to drop but the actors never lost the reality of their characters. Brook's and Lillie's noblesse oblige, awful everyday behaviors almost destroy any chance to make a match with the quieter lovers, so they join forces in order to earn their way back into their loved ones' hearts.

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The inclusion of this ridiculous dog who looks suspiciously like Lillie herself was one of the comic details that made this movie so enjoyable.

Roland Culver and Lillie get the most hilarious scene - Culver assuming his bride-to-be was testing him during their month 'on approval' by being as horrid as possible... Lillie admitting that she was just being herself! Her seriousness here was so comical. Culver's shock and subsequent turn-around really made me laugh. There's nothing like a good straight man and Culver had been one up until that point, when the two switched roles effortlessly. I hoped that things would work out between all the lovers, and they did, but not the way I expected. The ending was a lovely surprise.


Exit Smiling, a silent, was a great contrast to the previous film. It was an adorable little comedy about a young woman (Lillie) who is gopher and chief bottlewasher in her local theatre group, who dreams of being the leading actress.

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Lillie's rube character falls for innocent newcomer Jack Pickford, who only has eyes for the real leading lady.

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Lillie saves the day for Jack when he can't go onstage as the villain in his own home town due to past troubles there.

Lillie has a great air of aplomb as her dreamy comic waif accidentally destroys the sets and costumes at the little playhouse without realizing it. When she goes on as the villain, she executes a stunning pratfall on entering stage right. Of course, the audience loves it... and Lillie continues to demolish the ultra-serious play to their delight. It's refreshing to see an actress bring so much panache to a basic goof character. She has a subtle wistfulness, never cloying, just a simple way of letting her character's dreams shine through. I liked it a lot.

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Lillie is about the most ladylike, delicate comedienne I've ever seen, but the contrast between that delicacy and her grandiose ideas and enlarged image of herself is where her biggest laughs seem to come from. I found her charming, rather prettier than I expected, and there's that airy, yearning quality that I found disarming and sweet and never overdone. That being said, if she erred (which I contend she didn't), she erred on the side of being funny, rather than gaining your sympathy and this is where she really stands out from other film comediennes. I found her approach completely refreshing, never hitting you over the head with sentimentality. She stops just shy of sadness. Jack Pickford also has a somewhat naive quality that I like, and they were well matched here.

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Pickford and Lillie on the set of Exit Smiling.

The story ended in just the right way, neither breaking your heart, nor ending happily ever after. In fact, if I had to compare it to any other film, it would be Alice Adams. I wonder if the book was an inspiration for this lovely little film?

I liked Bea Lillie so much that I sat through half of Thoroughly Modern Millie even though I had to get up at 5:45 this morning. I'm always surprised that its mixture of mystery and musical is so much fun. The songs are terrific. I wished Bea Lillie had made dozens of movies. But alas, it was not meant to be....according to RO, she was never comfortable making films. She needed the audience's reactions in order to perform at her best, so she only made seven movies throughout her long lifetime. Maybe in the afterlife I can go back in time to see her on stage. Despite her own opinion of her screen appearances, I felt after watching these movies that she was an excellent if subtle screen comedienne.
Last edited by JackFavell on September 10th, 2014, 7:36 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Rita Hayworth
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Re: The September 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby Rita Hayworth » September 9th, 2014, 3:57 pm

JackFavell wrote:I liked Bea Lillie so much that I sat through half of Thoroughly Modern Millie even though I had to get up at 5:45 this morning. I'm always surprised that its mixture of mystery and musical is so much fun. The songs are terrific. I wished Bea Lillie had made dozens of movies. But alas, it was not meant to be....according to RO, she was never comfortable making films. She needed the audience's reactions in order to perform at her best, so she only made seven movies throughout her long lifetime. Maybe in the afterlife I can go back in time to see her on stage. Despite her own opinion of her screen appearances, I felt after watching these movies that she was an excellent if subtle screen comedienne.



What you have written here ... was beautifully expressed ... I just having a hard time writing about this movie and I just loved this film. Bea Little is a masterpiece of an actress and I wished she had done more films. She made 8 films and I adore her greatly.

This is one charming musical ... :D

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moira finnie
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Re: The September 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby moira finnie » September 10th, 2014, 1:46 pm

Your words about Bea Lillie were a delight to read as much as see. Thanks, Wendy.
Avatar: Frank McHugh (1898-1981)]

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JackFavell
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Re: The September 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby JackFavell » September 10th, 2014, 8:18 pm

:D :)

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Bronxgirl48
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Re: The September 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby Bronxgirl48 » September 12th, 2014, 8:00 pm

JackFavell wrote:Oh god, I love Crossing Delancey. It's the best known of the two movie appearances of Yiddish theatre great Reizl Bozyk, who plays Amy Irving's grandmother, Bubbie Kantor.

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Wow, what a great early photo of Reizl Bozyk, Jackie. I only know her from CROSSING DELANCEY -- didn't realize she was in the Yiddish theatre.

Terrific write-up on Bea Lillie! I've never been that familiar with her work, but you made me really want to take an in-depth look.

By the way, I just saw RED-HEADED WOMAN, and, true to form, St. Louis Blues is playing in bad-girl Jean Harlow's bedroom, lol.

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Re: The September 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby JackFavell » September 13th, 2014, 7:33 am

I know! Thanks to Red, I am hearing the song in EVERY bad girl precode now!

Thanks Bronxie, There is also something to be said for the pickle man in Crossing Delancey :shock: :shock: :oops: :oops: ...but that's for another conversation. I really need to see that movie again soon.


God I love Union Depot (1932)! (Have I started every review with the words I LOVE? Ah well.) What a gem of a film...it just gets better every time I watch it. Someone said it was like Grand Hotel but in a train station.... and while I agree with the description, I think this movie is way more than that.

The direction by Alfred E. Green is just incredible, from the get-go - a long opening shot starting on a crane high above the station, the camera sweeps down the big stone edifice to the street, around a detective chatting with a cop and then goes right on in, right through the double doors into the station lobby and up to the information desk. Along the way, we listen in on several conversations, and are introduced to all kinds of people - a couple of earthy gals looking for sailors to pick up; a woman of dubious ethnicity with five children all tied together with string so she won't lose them, waddling like ducks behind her; a family man sending the wife and kiddie (Dickie Moore) off for a vacation at a forest retreat all the while ogling a poster of a Hawaiian girl; an actress on the steps of a train being pressured to raise her hemline for lascivious photographers; a black woman saying goodbye to her husband, the porter, and then picking up her lover off the end of the same train leaving the station! We head into the men's room, and over to the window, where a stick slides in to snag a coat and hat, pulling it back out through the bars. And through those bars we are introduced to Doug Fairbanks Jr. and Guy Kibbee as drifters (or is that grifters?) fresh out of jail. It's a remarkable beginning to a wonderfully snappy film.

In spite of the economic constraints that Green seems to have been under (maybe due to the huge cast of extras?) there is a certain elegance to all the set-ups in the film. Even when the scenes are intimate, pasted over rear projection, the way Green angles the projection is different and more interesting. In one scene, Doug and Guy Kibbee hide a violin case full of cash in a shed off the railway yard... and the rear projection of trains going by, instead of being directly behind them, is angled off to the side, behind some crates, making for a deeper and more satisfying pictorial.

The acting, especially by favorite Joan Blondell, is terrific. Joan manages to convey niceness, world-weariness, virginity, hunger, yearning, soul searching disillusionment, and about a hundred other emotions during the course of this 67 minute express train of a film. I swear, she looks cuter here than in her other films - maybe she got some rest right before this one was made? Naaah. Probably not. But those eyes - so big and soulful, occasionally filling with tears...how can you resist? Doug Jr. is fantastic here, he's become more familiar with acting for the camera after his own long string of flickers. His grifter-with-a-heart-of-gold works for me because of the wistfulness, the good naturedness of his acting. We like him, even when he shockingly smacks Joan around - he does so because she tried to prostitute herself, and he wants her to respect herself more than that. He's down at the heels, and amazingly, it works...and at the same time, he really gets the gentlemanly qualities of the character without going overboard. I liked these two so much, I wish they had made more films together.

The supporting cast is another great reason to watch the film. David Landau is at his most likable here as the (for once) reasonable cop in charge. Alan Hale is the counterfeiter that Landau is after, and he puts on a perfect Dutch (German) dialect for his impersonation of a violinist (the phony money is hidden in his violin case). Frankie McHugh is a wonderfully chatty drunk who turns up early in the Gent's room, a slacker who is really hung up on whether or not his fellow travelers served in WWI (though it's obvious he did not). He's a sort of angel for Doug Jr., leaving his suitcase behind
so that Doug can get a clean set of clothes and some ready cash. McHugh's character sets up the "gentleman for a day" situation for Doug, and is a precursor to the rest of the film's mistaken identity themes. This just may be my favorite of his smaller cameo type roles, so much life and energy is conveyed in his short little scene. The one flaw in the film is that McHugh never turns up again after that swell beginning.

The ending of the film comes swiftly. The tale is set down like dominoes, each situation connecting and building on the previous one, which makes it even more fun. I love the fact that Blondell and Fairbank's Jr.'s relationship is left up in the air, with the hope of meeting again palpably hanging in the air between them as she leaves on the train for Salt Lake City. Guy Kibbee, who is kind of left outside of the story for a while, ends up being the saving grace, and the movie ends much as it began, with Doug and Kibbee wandering down the train tracks to see what mischief they can get into. Union Depot, I believe, is among those films that truly conveys what it was actually like to live during the Depression, so the ending just seems right. It's kind of modern, and at the same time, gives the feel of so many 'road' pictures. It's another surprise in this modest little film.

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Bronxgirl48
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Re: The September 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby Bronxgirl48 » September 13th, 2014, 10:24 pm

David Landau played a likable character? This I have to see!

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moira finnie
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Re: The September 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby moira finnie » September 14th, 2014, 8:01 am

Two Events worthy of some note coming up on Monday, Sept. 15th:

Jackie Cooper's Birthday celebration during the day:

Here's the first part of an interview with Jackie Cooper about his career:
phpBB [video]


9:00 AM
ANN CARVER'S PROFESSION (1933)
A female lawyer is torn between her career and her husband's ego.
Dir: Edward Buzzell Cast: Fay Wray , Gene Raymond , Claire Dodd .
BW-68 mins,

10:15 AM
WHEN A FELLER NEEDS A FRIEND (1932)
A lame boy's uncle tries to rescue him from his over-protective parents.
Dir: Harry Pollard Cast: Jackie Cooper , Ralph Graves , Charles "Chic" Sale .
BW-74 mins,

11:45 AM
O'SHAUGHNESSY'S BOY (1935)
A circus performer searches for the son his wife stole from him.
Dir: Richard Boleslawski Cast: Wallace Beery , Jackie Cooper , Spanky McFarland .
BW-87 mins,

1:15 PM
BOY OF THE STREETS (1937)
A tough street kid tries to use gang violence to break into corrupt city politics.
Dir: William Nigh Cast: Jackie Cooper , Maureen O'Connor , Kathleen Burke .
BW-77 mins,

2:45 PM
GALLANT SONS (1940)
When a man is charged with murder, his son's schoolboy friends set out to solve the case.
Dir: William Ryan Cast: Jackie Cooper , Bonita Granville , Gene Reynolds .
BW-76 mins,

4:15 PM
ZIEGFELD GIRL (1941)
Three showgirls in the Ziegfeld Follies face romantic trials on their way to the top.
Dir: Robert Z. Leonard Cast: James Stewart , Judy Garland , Hedy Lamarr .
BW-133 mins, CC,

6:30 PM
NAVY COMES THROUGH, THE (1942)
An old freighter single-handedly takes on a Nazi war fleet.
Dir: A. Edward Sutherland Cast: Pat O'Brien , George Murphy , Jane Wyatt .
BW-82 mins,

A 24-Hour Tribute to Lauren Bacall, beginning at 8pm (ET):

Here's a rare home movie of Bogart and Bacall looking relaxed and happy to whet our appetite for more
phpBB [video]


8:00 PM
PRIVATE SCREENINGS: LAUREN BACALL (2005)
Lauren Bacall discusses her life and career with host Robert Osborne.
C-50 mins, CC,

9:00 PM
TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT (1944)
A skipper-for-hire's romance with a beautiful drifter is complicated by his growing involvement with the French resistance.
Dir: Howard Hawks Cast: Humphrey Bogart , Walter Brennan , Lauren Bacall .
BW-100 mins, CC,

11:00 PM
BIG SLEEP, THE (1946)
Private eye Philip Marlowe investigates a society girl's involvement in the murder of a pornographer.
Dir: Howard Hawks Cast: Humphrey Bogart , Lauren Bacall , John Ridgely .
BW-114 mins, CC,

1:00 AM
HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE (1953)
Three models pool their resources to rent a posh penthouse in hopes of snaring rich husbands.
Dir: Jean Negulesco Cast: Betty Grable , Marilyn Monroe , Lauren Bacall .
C-96 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

2:45 AM
PRIVATE SCREENINGS: LAUREN BACALL (2005)
Lauren Bacall discusses her life and career with host Robert Osborne.
C-50 mins, CC,

3:45 AM
HARPER (1966)
A broken-down private eye sets out to find a rich woman's missing husband.
Dir: Jack Smight Cast: Paul Newman , Lauren Bacall , Julie Harris .
C-121 mins, CC, Letterbox Format


6:00 AM
BRIGHT LEAF (1950)
Two tobacco growers battle for control of the cigarette market.
Dir: Michael Curtiz Cast: Gary Cooper , Lauren Bacall , Patricia Neal .
BW-111 mins,

8:00 AM
YOUNG MAN WITH A HORN (1950)
A young trumpet player is torn between an honest singer and a manipulative heiress.
Dir: Michael Curtiz Cast: Kirk Douglas , Lauren Bacall , Doris Day .
BW-112 mins, CC,

10:00 AM
DARK PASSAGE (1947)
A man falsely accused of his wife's murder escapes to search for the real killer.
Dir: Delmer Daves Cast: Humphrey Bogart , Lauren Bacall , Bruce Bennett .
BW-106 mins, CC,

12:00 PM
KEY LARGO (1948)
A returning veteran tangles with a ruthless gangster during a hurricane.
Dir: John Huston Cast: Humphrey Bogart , Edward G. Robinson , Lauren Bacall .
BW-101 mins, CC,

2:00 PM
BLOOD ALLEY (1955)
An American sailor breaks out of a Chinese jail and dodges Communist agents on the road to Hong Kong.
Dir: William A. Wellman Cast: John Wayne , Lauren Bacall , Paul Fix .
C-115 mins, Letterbox Format

4:00 PM
SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL (1964)
A journalist sets out to expose a female sex expert but falls for her instead.
Dir: Richard Quine Cast: Tony Curtis , Natalie Wood , Henry Fonda .
C-114 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

6:00 PM
DESIGNING WOMAN (1957)
A sportswriter and a fashion designer have a lot of adjusting to do when they marry in haste.
Dir: Vincente Minnelli Cast: Gregory Peck , Lauren Bacall , Dolores Gray .
C-118 mins, CC, Letterbox Format
Avatar: Frank McHugh (1898-1981)]

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JackFavell
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Re: The September 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby JackFavell » September 14th, 2014, 10:01 am

David Landau played a likable character? This I have to see!


Bronxie, I actually LOVED Landau here! No small feat for this usually dour actor.

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movieman1957
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Postby movieman1957 » September 14th, 2014, 12:29 pm

I celebrated Cooper and didn't even know it. 4:30 this morning I watched a "Quincy" episode he directed. (Yeah, how troubling - "Quincy" at 4:30!)
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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JackFavell
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Re: The September 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby JackFavell » September 14th, 2014, 12:48 pm

I'd love to know where they are playing Quincy right now. I miss it, and think about the show every time I watch Bones. :D

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movieman1957
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Re: The September 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby movieman1957 » September 14th, 2014, 1:08 pm

"Quincy" is streaming on Netflix. This and "The Rockdford Files" are my go to shows in such situations. My fear is that if Me-TV won't show it then we are not going to see it or things like it anywhere else.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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JackFavell
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Re: The September 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby JackFavell » September 14th, 2014, 4:28 pm

I know... I worry that some of those shows we loved will just disappear... , the one or two season shows that were good but couldn't find an audience already have, pretty much.

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Re: The September 2014 Schedule for TCM

Postby knitwit45 » September 14th, 2014, 6:54 pm

Chris, I just read that ME-tv is showing the Rockford Files daily at 11:00 am C.
"Life is not the way it's supposed to be.. It's the way it is..
The way we cope with it, is what makes the difference." ~ Virginia Satir
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