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October Schedule 2014

Discussion of programming on TCM.

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moira finnie
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Re: October Schedule 2014

Postby moira finnie » October 20th, 2014, 11:46 am

kingrat wrote:Moira, I have seen The Defector, which is not, alas, all that good. Clift is not in very good condition. It's not awful, but once is probably enough.

I caught The Defector the other day and kept wishing I could have made some soup for poor, emaciated Monty. His poor hands shook noticeably whenever the director (who seemed to have a bad case of sixties-hip-itis) zoomed in for a closeup or opted for quick and incoherent cutting to mimic his leading man's confusion (and to create more continuity problems for the story). The film clearly shows how much the actor wanted to prove that he could still work, despite his frailty--though I would never have allowed him to keep swimming around in icy canals in Germany for the sake of verisimilitude.

On a happier note, there's a good lineup on TCM tonight. Starting at 8pm (ET) there are Robert Cummings' best moments on films with Saboteur (1941) followed by Kings Row (1942). At 12:15am (ET), Ann Sheridan once again steals a movie and makes a dull actor (Ronald Reagan) look appealing when she is featured in Juke Girl (1942). I really like the underlying social tension in this story, set among migrant workers.
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Re: October Schedule 2014

Postby RedRiver » October 20th, 2014, 1:37 pm

Enjoy Mr. Cummings in one of my very favorite Hitchcock thrillers, followed by just about the best of the over-wrought melodramas.

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Re: October Schedule 2014

Postby Bronxgirl48 » October 20th, 2014, 2:44 pm

RedRiver wrote:"Sweetheart!"

(get it?, lol)


Is that a STAGECOACH reference? One of the horses?



You got it!

btw, my second all-time sweetheart is Tom Tyler. How's that for an eclectic love life, lol?

David Manners and Luke Plummer.

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Re: October Schedule 2014

Postby Bronxgirl48 » October 20th, 2014, 2:47 pm

[quote="moira finnie"]Robert Cummings[/b]' best moments quote]



I never knew he had any. :D

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Re: October Schedule 2014

Postby kingrat » October 20th, 2014, 6:14 pm

I agree with the general consensus that Zulu Dawn (1979), though not nearly so good as Zulu (1964), is still well worth watching. Like its predecessor, this would be fine viewing on the big screen, with some spectacular scenery and fine battle scenes. To see several thousand Zulu warriors on screen is astonishing in ways that CGI cannot match. This film is actually a prequel, dealing with the defeat of the British by the Zulu at Isandlwana. This defeat, which shocked the British, led to the battle of Rorke’s Drift depicted in Zulu.

Both films have scripts by Cy Endfield, but he was not able to direct Zulu Dawn. I have read that his career was crushed by the financial failure of Sands of the Kalahari (1965). Zulu Dawn shows all too clearly, by omission, what the shaping hand of a strong director can bring. Despite the presence of too many fine actors to count, we don’t identify strongly with any of them, even Burt Lancaster, one of the heroes, or Simon Ward, also heroic, whose thoughts and reactions command the screen whenever he appears. Zulu Dawn needs to be longer, needs to help us identify all of the characters in those uniforms.

A review at imdb by one of the second assistants on the film says that second unit directors David Tomblin and Peter MacDonald are responsible for much of the good work; this commentator blames the director (Douglas Hickox, who would never direct another feature film) and the less than professional Peter O’Toole for the cost overruns. Be that as it may, Zulu Dawn vividly depicts an astonishing moment in history, and the stunning cinematography (by Ousama Rawi), the acting, and the intelligent script provide a memorable experience, even if, like Oliver Twist, I could ask for more.

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Re: October Schedule 2014

Postby CineMaven » October 21st, 2014, 7:47 am

moira finnie wrote:...I wish that they were showing Ulmer's Carnegie Hall (1947), which is kind of a bio of the landmark featuring great music, of course, but also Marsha Hunt, whose (most consistent) leading man in that movie is...Frank McHugh! (not the usual pick, huh?--but quite an interesting choice, as F.Mc. was in Back Street (1941) too). 1/1/14-12:53pm


Well Moira, here is your chance. Tonight, “CARNEGIE HALL” will be part of the festival of films TCM will show to honor Edgar G. Ulmer.

And for my money if anyone sees only one movie, I’d highly recommend “HER SISTER’S SECRET” starring Nancy Coleman and Margaret Lindsay. I had planned to do a write up on it and didn't get around to it; but the SSO’s KingRat did a nice job writing about it when it appeared at TCMFF’s this April. You can read his comments below. And may I urge you to please please pay special attention to African-American actress FRANCES WILLIAMS. She didn’t do a lot of films, but Ulmer is particularly attentive to her portrayal. Though she is the Maid, she is treated with respect and is most definitely part of the family in the film. Also, may I throw one more shrimp on the barbie and recommend a nifty hard=core low budget little crime drama called "MURDER IS MY BEAT." It stars the most infamous blonde of the fifties: BARBARA PAYTON!!! See her!!

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kingrat wrote:Her Sister’s Secret (1946, dir. Edgar G. Ulmer) has a plot similar to The Great Lie and To Each His Own. Toni (Nancy Cameron) becomes pregnant after an encounter with a handsome soldier (Phillip Reed) at Mardi Gras, and her married sister Renee (Margaret Lindsay) raises the baby. Before the film, we got to hear from Ulmer’s daughter, Arianna Ulmer Cipes, who is attractive and articulate. She mentioned that Margaret Lindsay was a close family friend who even lived with the Ulmers at one time.

Ulmer got a much bigger budget than usual, and it shows, especially in the set design, costumes, and the number of extras in the Mardi Gras scenes. Arianna Cipes pointed out that her mother claimed one of the coats worn by Margaret Lindsay, but she didn’t say if it was the cloth coat or the fur. The New York apartment where Renee and her husband live is quite stylish. The real star of the movie is the cinematographer, Franz Planer, who lights each shot beautifully. There are some fine camera movements, including the overhead boom shots for Mardi Gras. Both Nancy Cameron and Margaret Lindsay give strong and sympathetic performances. Felix Bressart has the important supporting role of a café owner, and Henry Stephenson has a nice turn as the bookish father of the two young women.

It’s refreshing that Toni is not blamed for wanting a night of romance with a stranger, and the only punishment, surely a great enough one, is the separation from her baby. When she wants her baby back, we can sympathize with both sisters.

I don’t want to oversell the film—as a couple of friends said, it’s enjoyable but not great—but fans of Ulmer, the actors, and 40s women’s pictures will probably like it. I’m a little unsure of my response because this movie was shown late at night after I’d seen three other films the same day, which is far from ideal. Because it started at 10:00 and was opposite several other interesting films, attendance was only in the 75-100 range.
4/23/2014-2:10pm
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Re: October Schedule 2014

Postby moira finnie » October 21st, 2014, 8:45 am

Hey, thanks for the heads up about Carnegie Hall, which I have seen and enjoyed very much (Love Marsha Hunt, Frank McHugh and the great classical and swing performers in the movie).

I am really looking forward tonight to Her Sister's Secret now as well as the documentary Edgar G. Ulmer - The Man Off-Screen which follows that movie. For those interested, we were honored to have Noah Isenberg, Ulmer's biographer, visit us in the recent past. Mr. Isenberg, who is the author of Edgar G. Ulmer: A Filmmaker at the Margins (Univ. of California Press), is one of the individuals who participated in this doc. Noah and CineMaven exchanged some thoughts on Her Sister's Secret, an intriguing-sounding film when he visited us at the beginning of this year. The Q & A that included this conversation can be viewed here on our site: viewtopic.php?f=36&t=6520
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Re: October Schedule 2014

Postby RedRiver » October 21st, 2014, 1:36 pm

I would LOVE to see these movies! But no TCM.

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Re: October Schedule 2014

Postby CineMaven » October 21st, 2014, 6:40 pm

WHAT?????!!!

You get Svengoolie but not TCM?
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Re: October Schedule 2014

Postby RedRiver » October 22nd, 2014, 1:16 pm

Svengoolie is not even cable. That's free TV! Sadly, TCM is not part of the package my apartment complex subscribes to. It seems to be rare in these parts, though in the neighboring city of Beaver Dam (not kidding), it's all over the place!

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Re: October Schedule 2014

Postby CineMaven » October 22nd, 2014, 7:25 pm

Red, your only solution is to move to Beaver Dam.

Well, don'cha think getting TCM is WORTH it?
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Re: October Schedule 2014

Postby RedRiver » October 22nd, 2014, 9:48 pm

Whatever the problem, Beaver Dam is not the solution! I picked up two videos for $2.00 yesterday. They may or may not be good. But they're worth $2.00!


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