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The Q & A with Steve Hayes, Tired Old Queen of the Movies 10-22 10-23

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Re: The Q & A with Steve Hayes, Tired Old Queen of the Movies 10-22 10-23

Postby Steve Hayes » October 22nd, 2016, 3:33 pm

Mrs O -There have been many actors who proved to be better stage actors than film actors and visa versa. Acting for the stage is differnt from acting for films which is different from acting for television. Not that many people who find success in one medium tranfer successfull to another. In the old days, theatre was looked on as the truely artistic medium and movies were looked down upon as trivial, sensational and rather tasteless. When TV came into being, movies looked down upon it for the same reasons. Both out of fear because they were suddenly afraid of becoming an antiquated medium. Actors, especially during the depression, realized that they could make a lot of money for half the work if they made it in Hollywood. Especially actors who had reached "a certain age' and couldn't maintain the nightly performances and the long tours that the theatre involved. They headed west and some of them, as a result, found great more fame and money than they'd ever earned even when they were Broadways stars, Marie Dressler Mae West, W.C. Fields and many of the great character people like Edna May Oliver, Mary Boland, and The Barrymores come to mind. Naturally, it didn't work for everyone. Mary Martin found much more success on Broadway, as did Gertrude Lawrence , Lunt and Fontaine, Tallulah Bankhead, Katherine Cornell, Laurette Taylor and on and on. Some who managed to find equal success were; Katharine Hepburn, Fredric March, Judy Holliday, Charles Laughton and Betty Field. Today, George Clooney is one of the most successful leading men who've made the transition from TV to film, but not many do.

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Re: The Q & A with Steve Hayes, Tired Old Queen of the Movies 10-22 10-23

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » October 22nd, 2016, 3:45 pm

Thanks for "just sayin'" what you feel, Steve! :D

I'm also glad you mentioned so many of my favorite actresses and films. Doris Dowling was so much fun to hate in The Blue Dahlia, and before the TCM Film Festival this year, I hadn't realized she had a sister who acted, Constance Dowling. They screened the 3-D version of Gog with Herbert Marshall. When I saw Constance Dowling on the screen for the first time, it seemed to me that she looked a little like Veronica Lake.

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Re: The Q & A with Steve Hayes, Tired Old Queen of the Movies 10-22 10-23

Postby Masha » October 22nd, 2016, 4:01 pm

I thank you very much for sharing your time, wit and expertise with us!

I enjoy your YouTube videos very much. They make me laugh and think which is a rare thing. :)

I do not mean this as critique but I must notice that your selections for your reviews are all Hollywood-centric. I do not see movies from: Toho, Mosfilm, Gaumont or Eros International. Is this conscious decision because of your perceived audience or because of your personal preferences?

I must wonder of your feelings on the importance of foreign movies for: American viewers.

I thank you again for sharing with us here.
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Re: The Q & A with Steve Hayes, Tired Old Queen of the Movies 10-22 10-23

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » October 22nd, 2016, 4:30 pm

Steve is going to take a short break to dine with some friends. He'll return later this evening.

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In the meantime, the Dowling sisters would like you to enjoy Steve's video about The Blue Dahlia...

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Re: The Q & A with Steve Hayes, Tired Old Queen of the Movies 10-22 10-23

Postby Professional Tourist » October 22nd, 2016, 4:58 pm

Welcome to the SSO Mr. Hayes -- thank you for taking the time to visit with us this weekend.

As all the members here know, my number one interest is -- in cinema and otherwise -- Agnes Moorehead. :D

I know that you generally mark AM's birthday on your Facebook page, including a link to your video review of Dark Passage. I've watched that review and realize how much you appreciate that performance. I looked through your YouTube channel and found two other reviews where Miss Moorehead is mentioned, for Caged and All That Heaven Allows.

It's easy to understand how her participation in pictures such as those three, and in her four Oscar-nominated films would please wider audiences, because (do forgive me :wink: ) the brilliance of those performances is so obvious. Although I enjoy all of that work, I find myself charmed by parts that may be lesser-known or smaller, with characterizations that are more layered or subtextual. A few of my favorites:

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Sarah Reed in Jane Eyre (1943) -- opening up a whole life and mind in a few moments.

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Katherine Williams in Without Honor (1949) -- veiled and reserved with bits of emotional
layers showing through.

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Nancy Ashford in Magnificent Obsession (1954) -- subtextually subversive (and great
opposite Rock Hudson).

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Queen Maria Dominika in The Swan (1956) -- hilarious and criminally underutilized.

My question for you, Mr. Hayes: what do you think of AM's work for the big screen outside of film noir? What do you like most/least, and why?

Thank you.

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Re: The Q & A with Steve Hayes, Tired Old Queen of the Movies 10-22 10-23

Postby Steve Hayes » October 22nd, 2016, 6:49 pm

Dear Masha,
I like many foreign films and thank you for the heads up! I intend in the next few seasons to do foreign films. Some I'm considering are "Purple Noon", "Diabolique", "Cries and Whispers", "The Damned", "Children Of Paradise", "Closely Watched Trains", "The Shop On Main Street", "Rules of the Game", "Day For Night", "Wild Strawberries" and such Brit classics as; " The Third Man", "Odd Man Out", "The Wicked Lady", "The Man In Grey", "The Entertainer", Oliviers' "Richard the III" , "oliver Twist", "Great Expectations" and Powell and Pressburger's "The Red Shoes". Lots to choose from! Such fun!

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Re: The Q & A with Steve Hayes, Tired Old Queen of the Movies 10-22 10-23

Postby Moraldo Rubini » October 22nd, 2016, 6:53 pm

Masha wrote:I do not mean this as critique but I must notice that your selections for your reviews are all Hollywood-centric. I do not see movies from: Toho, Mosfilm, Gaumont or Eros International. Is this conscious decision because of your perceived audience or because of your personal preferences?

I must wonder of your feelings on the importance of foreign movies for: American viewers.


Masha beat me to it! I was wondering the same thing. Does Mr. Hayes have any favorite foreign films? Cocteau, Zeffirelli and Fellini await!

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Re: The Q & A with Steve Hayes, Tired Old Queen of the Movies 10-22 10-23

Postby Steve Hayes » October 22nd, 2016, 6:58 pm

Dear Prof Tourist & Aggie Lover;
I love her too. She never gave a bad performance and I can watch her in anything. I love her sympathetic warden in "Caged", her drama coach in "Jeanne Eagles", her stony faced, but caring aunt in "Johnny Belinda"...the anguish when she learns Belinda is pregnant is so heartbreaking. I also love her as the Jane Wyman's best friend in "All That Heaven Allows", as the mystery writer in "The Bat" and as the termagent in "Dragon Seed"...so witchy!
I can even watch her as John Wayne's mother "Hun Lut" of all things in the laughable "The Conqueror". The tragic consequences of which are still unbelieveble. So, you're talking to a fellow "Aggie-ite!

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Re: The Q & A with Steve Hayes, Tired Old Queen of the Movies 10-22 10-23

Postby Steve Hayes » October 22nd, 2016, 7:14 pm

Dear Mrs O; In answer to the differences in acting in the various mediums. Stage is larger than ;ife, everything has to seem like it's intimate but play to the bcak of the house regardless of mics. Television is small, intimate and underplaying everything for maximum effect. Films means doing it even more because the camera in both mediums picks up everything and with film you're magnified beyondbelief. The first time I saw myself on the big screen in the movie "TRICK", I thought my face resembles a Thomas's English Muffin...all those nooks and cranies!
As fars as examining the technical aspects fo film to young audiences, I think the average audience isn't turned off by the knowledge when it comes to current films, the trick is to get them to take an interest in these same techniques in classic films. In order to do that, you've got to lure and hook them into watching it first. That's why I feel, that keeping it simple; "This is such an entertaing picture" and getting them to actually watch it is the first step. Then when it's over, you might say: "Wasn't that scene with Janet leigh getting stabbed in the shower amazing? Did you know that was an opitical illusion? The knife never actually goes into her. Do you want to know how that was done? " And...perhaps... you've spiked their interest and you're on. The end result being, they learn to appreciate how things were done before computor technology.
Finally, I think Sirk would be amused, bemused and fascinated. I think it's heart breaking that, like so many artists, they die without ever knowing how their work has influenced others and how appreciated it is. I call it "Van Gogh Syndrome."

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Re: The Q & A with Steve Hayes, Tired Old Queen of the Movies 10-22 10-23

Postby Steve Hayes » October 22nd, 2016, 7:31 pm

Dear Sue Sue;
The Dowling sisters, Constance and Doris ,were the "good time girls" of Hollywood in the late 40's. Connie was blonde, Doris brunette and both were chic, funny, smart and very beautiful. Connie was the mistress of Elia Kazan and Doris the mistress of Billy Wilder who put her in her first important role as Gloria the tramp who likes Ray Milland's hairline in "The Lost Weekend"; "Don't be ridic!" By then, Connie had made pictures like "Knickerbocker Holiday" and "Up in Arms". Ironically, in 1946, the both played Film Noir bad girls and their characters were subsequently murdered. Doris was the cheating wife of vet Alan Ladd In George Marshall's "The Blue Dahlia" based on an original Oscar nominated screenplay by Raymond Chandler...who had to be kept drunk to finish it... and Connie was the two timing wife of dipso Dan Duryea in Roy Wiliam Neill's " Black Angel". Shortly thereafter, their respective lovers dumped them both and married other women. The sisters, agreed they'd had anough of Hollywood, packed their bags and headed for Rome. They were soon the toast of the town and began appearing in Italian productions. Doris made "Bitter Rice" and Orson Welle's "Othello". Constance came back to the states in the early '50's and married Ivan Tors. Doris eventually returned as well and appeared in 50's & 60's televsion. Both were sultry, smoldering bad girl greats!. Check out "The Blue Dahlia" and "Black Angel" and get a gander at the Dowling sisters!

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Re: The Q & A with Steve Hayes, Tired Old Queen of the Movies 10-22 10-23

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » October 22nd, 2016, 7:32 pm

Thanks for those darling Dowling comments!
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Douglas Sirk was the king of the melodramas in the 1950s. I have to admit that I think my favorite is Written on the Wind because of that naughty Dorothy Malone.
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Can you share with us any of your Sirk guilty pleasures?
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Re: The Q & A with Steve Hayes, Tired Old Queen of the Movies 10-22 10-23

Postby Steve Hayes » October 22nd, 2016, 8:35 pm

Oh Sue Sue;
My Sirk guilty pleasures are many. Well, first of all, "Written On The Wind" is one of my all-time favorite films. Brash, bold & beautiful it's everything a trashy '50's disfunctional family drama could dream of! I love it from the moment the credits begin and The Four Aces launch into the melancholy theme song,whiles Bacall faints, Rock looks out the window in anticipation, Robert Stack drives up drunk, naturally, in a yellow sports car and throws a whiskey bottle at the servant's window, and Dorothy Malone looks out her bedroom window is if she's seducing the Venetian Blinds. Fabulous. I love the lurid colors, the pace, the themes, intoxication, nymphomania, impotence, bitter friends and battered marriages. What more could you ask for? It's spoiled little rich kids may be the villians, but Sirk is smart enough to make them the most interesting people in the picture. Dorthy Malone's Oscar was well deserved. With the most beautiful and saddest blue eyes in movies, she slinks sexily around the sets as if her wanton body was taking her places and forcing her into doing things she had no control over. I love her dance of death to "Temptation" as she strips for Rock Hudson's picture...which is a close to seduction as she's going to get...and her father, overcome by a lifetime of bailing out his children simply let's go of life and the bannister and tumbles to his death down the long staircase while Dorothy dons a red neglegee and kicks up her heels in delight. I also love the scene where she picks up hunky Grant Williams as the Gas Staion attendant she went to highschool with. " What do we do now, break into a chorus of Hail Alma mater?" Rock and Bacall may be sincere and pretty, but they can't hold a candle to the' supporting players". I love all of "All that Heaven Allows". I think it's controversial in that an older man /younger woman scenario is perfectly acceptable, but the reverse is scandelous. I love the scene where Jane Wyman takes Rock Hudson to the country club and all her bitchy friends make nasty comments. I'm especially stuck on Jacqueline deWit as town gossip Mona Plasch. She's bigger than life, acts like a flamboyant drag queen and rather looks like one. I also like Gloria Talbot as the spoiled daughter, Aggie Moorehead as the practical best friend and Virginia Grey as Jane's confidant. Rock is simply sensational in this. he's so sexy...however, I longed for him to leave Wyman behind and run away with her son William Reynolds, who is such a hottie! Other Sirks I watch continuously are "All I Desire", one of Stanwyck's best and most subtle later roles, "Tarnished Angels " which I still think is the best role of Rock Hudson's career. Malone ...once again, sexy and pathetic, if you can pull that off, which she does...Robert Stack, harsh and sexy and Jack Carson, as always, are wonderful. "Imitation Of Life" has a huge following, but I only like the plot with Susan Kohner and Juanita Moore. Lana Turner and Sandra Dee are too plastic to be believed. And finally, I love an atmospheric and little known noir he did in the late 40's called "Sleep, My Love" with Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, Bob Cummings, Rita Johnson...in a rare and funny comic turn and the sensational Hazel Brooks as the femme fatale to end all femme fatales. Viva SIRK!

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Re: The Q & A with Steve Hayes, Tired Old Queen of the Movies 10-22 10-23

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » October 22nd, 2016, 9:55 pm

Those 34 Jean Louis costume changes in Imitation of Life and all that jewelry had my head a spinnin'!

Robert Osborne interviewed Susan Kohner and Juanita Moore before the TCMFF 2010 screening of the film, and Juanita Moore told it like it was. I recall Robert Osborne asked her a question, something like "Well, Cheryl Crane and her mother reconciled before her death, didn't they?" and then Juanita Moore told him that it never happened. (Crane also appeared at a separate event at the festival, at which Ben Mankiewicz presided, I believe, but Moore went on to fluster Robert a bit, and then Susan Kohner stepped in and smoother over the rough edges of that interview.)
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Here's a link to an article about the interview, but some of the conversation didn't make the cut: http://screenanarchy.com/2010/04/tcm-cl ... and-s.html

I think I know why Crane left the theater. :roll:

Seeing a good print of a Sirk film on the big screen is always a delight, with or without interviews.

I would love to know what classic films you've seen on the big screen that enthralled you even more than you thought they could. Thank you so much for your in-depth responses!
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Re: The Q & A with Steve Hayes, Tired Old Queen of the Movies 10-22 10-23

Postby Professional Tourist » October 22nd, 2016, 10:51 pm

Mr. Hayes, may I just say that in your lovely paen to Douglas Sirk, Magnificent Obsession is conspicuous by its absence? :wink: I like Sirk quite a bit myself, and understanding that everyone's taste is different, would appreciate sharing views on this film if you would like.

Seven years ago, back when I used to blog about AM, I wrote an article about MO, which focuses primarily on AM's character. If you'd like to read it, I was able to save it in image format from the archive of my old blog -- click here.

Since the file is a tall, narrow image, to read it you would click the plus-sign at bottom to zoom in, then click-hold-drag up and down with the mouse to scroll through it. [If you use the scroll wheel on your mouse, or swipe up/down on a trackpad, that would just alter the zoom level.]

Looking at the article now, I think it's a bit verbose, the prose could use tightening, but it does convey my thoughts and perspective. I'd be interested to know what you see as the strengths and weakness of MO, or why it's just not your cup of tea. Thank you.

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Re: The Q & A with Steve Hayes, Tired Old Queen of the Movies 10-22 10-23

Postby Steve Hayes » October 22nd, 2016, 11:12 pm

Dear PT; "Magnificent Obsession" is too sappy and preachy for me. Like Lana Turner's story in "Imitation Of Life". It's boring, I don't buy it for a minute and I don't care. That doesn't mean I have to. Nor does it mean it's not well acted or directed, I just don't believe it. There are alot of Sirk's' and other people's films I love and don't nessesarily buy what I'm watching, but for some reason, the pious air of self sacrifice in MO gives me the itch. I do however, buy their relationship in "All That Heaven Allows", because he's sexier, more real and not so sanctimonious and she responds in kind. What can i say, you can't like 'em all.


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