TCM Race and Hollywood: Arab Images on Film

Discussion of programming on TCM.

Moderators: Sue Sue Applegate, movieman1957, moira finnie, Lzcutter

User avatar
moira finnie
Administrator
Posts: 8176
Joined: April 9th, 2007, 6:34 pm
Location: Earth
Contact:

Re: TCM Race and Hollywood: Arab Images on Film

Post by moira finnie »

Oh, what a great story, Nitrate--
I do wish that TCM could have found a way to persuade the owners of the Paramount library to let them show this movie, which has been aired in the past on TCM. I'll have to see if I can get a copy from the library now. Thanks for adding that info.
Avatar: Frank McHugh (1898-1981)

The Skeins
TCM Movie Morlocks
User avatar
intothenitrate
Posts: 398
Joined: January 11th, 2010, 3:12 pm
Location: Cincinnati

Re: TCM Race and Hollywood: Arab Images on Film

Post by intothenitrate »

Showing The Crusades certainly would have been a lot more illustrative of the theme than the The Lost Patrol. I just re-watched that one, and there are virtually no insights to be had with regard to the 'Arabs'--other than an occasional overwrought railing against them.
"Immorality may be fun, but it isn't fun enough to take the place of one hundred percent virtue and three square meals a day."
Goodnight Basington
User avatar
moira finnie
Administrator
Posts: 8176
Joined: April 9th, 2007, 6:34 pm
Location: Earth
Contact:

Re: TCM Race and Hollywood: Arab Images on Film

Post by moira finnie »

intothenitrate wrote:Showing The Crusades certainly would have been a lot more illustrative of the theme than the The Lost Patrol. I just re-watched that one, and there are virtually no insights to be had with regard to the 'Arabs'--other than an occasional overwrought railing against them.
Other than being a faceless menace in the sand dunes, I couldn't see how this really was a good example of stereotyping--except that the film de-personalized the Arabs so well that imitative The Lost Patrol variations have been made in other genres as well, notably westerns and sci-fi films, with Native Americans and Aliens as the enemy "out there." I am curious about what your opinion will be of King Richard and the Crusaders (1954), nitrate. I think you will find it compares fairly well to The Crusades.

I did not have time to see much on Tuesday, but I thought that Prof. Shaheen's ambivalent attitude toward Lawrence of Arabia (especially the ending showing the Arabic tribes in chaos in need of European notions of organization) was interesting. I think I'd like to read this man's book to read more about his thesis now that I've seen the documentary.

Does anyone have any idea which group might be a good choice for next year's Race and Hollywood Month?

I'd like to suggest Italians. What an exhaustive number of films to choose from on this topic! And there are so many lingering stereotypes clinging to Italian-Americans that should be re-examined.

My naughty choice (that will never appear) for a focus next year would be WASPs. They have been stereotyped, big time, too--and they are the last group who people feel comfortable disliking fairly publicly since many seem to feel they are still the power brokers in this world.
Avatar: Frank McHugh (1898-1981)

The Skeins
TCM Movie Morlocks
Gary J.
Posts: 199
Joined: November 9th, 2008, 1:22 pm
Location: Sonoma, CA
Contact:

Re: TCM Race and Hollywood: Arab Images on Film

Post by Gary J. »

All it means is that THE LOST PATROL is in the heavy rotation list on TCM this year.
It feels like it has aired once a month since January.
User avatar
JackFavell
Posts: 11946
Joined: April 20th, 2009, 9:56 am

Re: TCM Race and Hollywood: Arab Images on Film

Post by JackFavell »

Does anyone have any idea which group might be a good choice for next year's Race and Hollywood Month?
The Maltese. :D
Mr. Arkadin
Posts: 2657
Joined: April 14th, 2007, 3:00 pm

Re: TCM Race and Hollywood: Arab Images on Film

Post by Mr. Arkadin »

moirafinnie wrote: I think I'd like to read this man's book to read more about his thesis now that I've seen the documentary.
I have his book. Other than a short introduction, you will find it little more than a reference on what he finds wrong (and occasionally right) with 900+ films. There is no real critical analysis, just listings with the offending scenes or remarks noted. There is slightly more info on a landmark film like Lawrence of Arabia (1962), or a film that he does recommend, but on the whole, there is no thesis on the Arab in Hollywood or film in general.
User avatar
moira finnie
Administrator
Posts: 8176
Joined: April 9th, 2007, 6:34 pm
Location: Earth
Contact:

Re: TCM Race and Hollywood: Arab Images on Film

Post by moira finnie »

Gary J. wrote:All it means is that THE LOST PATROL is in the heavy rotation list on TCM this year.
It feels like it has aired once a month since January.
You mean there's a movie that might be shown more often than Notorious (1946)? (Great movie, but even filet mignon loses its appeal if you have it too much)
JackFavell wrote:
Does anyone have any idea which group might be a good choice for next year's Race and Hollywood Month?
The Maltese. :D
Hey, now that you mention it, how about the Race of Character Actors?
Mr. Arkadin wrote:
moirafinnie wrote: I think I'd like to read this man's book to read more about his thesis now that I've seen the documentary.
I have his book. Other than a short introduction, you will find it little more than a reference on what he finds wrong (and occasionally right) with 900+ films. There is no real critical analysis, just listings with the offending scenes or remarks noted. There is slightly more info on a landmark film like Lawrence of Arabia (1962), or a film that he does recommend, but on the whole, there is no thesis on the Arab in Hollywood or film in general.
Thanks, Ark. It doesn't sound as though it would add too much to what I've already gleaned from the guy's choice of movies and his enlightening commentary on the air and in his doc.
Avatar: Frank McHugh (1898-1981)

The Skeins
TCM Movie Morlocks
User avatar
JackFavell
Posts: 11946
Joined: April 20th, 2009, 9:56 am

Re: TCM Race and Hollywood: Arab Images on Film

Post by JackFavell »

Hey, now that you mention it, how about the Race of Character Actors?
Now that would be great!
User avatar
moira finnie
Administrator
Posts: 8176
Joined: April 9th, 2007, 6:34 pm
Location: Earth
Contact:

Re: TCM Race and Hollywood: Arab Images on Film

Post by moira finnie »

Some interesting POSITIVE Arabic Images are on tonight's agenda with the following films on tap, beginning at 8pm EDT. Any thoughts?

Five Graves to Cairo
The Black Tent
Three Kings
King Richard and the Crusaders
Sahara
Avatar: Frank McHugh (1898-1981)

The Skeins
TCM Movie Morlocks
kingrat
Posts: 2207
Joined: August 20th, 2009, 2:46 pm

Re: TCM Race and Hollywood: Arab Images on Film

Post by kingrat »

I recorded THE BLACK TENT and KING RICHARD AND THE CRUSADERS and look forward to seeing them. Our local paper listed THE BLACK TENT as one star out of four, but Brian Desmond Hurst did a good job directing HUNGRY HILL and the Alastair Sim CHRISTMAS CAROL, so why not give it a shot?

Lzcutter, among others, recommended FIVE GRAVES TO CAIRO when it was shown last year, and what a solid Billy Wilder film it turned out to be.

Although THREE KINGS received favorable reviews, we tried watching it once on TV and neither of us could get into it, so we gave up after the first half hour or so.
kingrat
Posts: 2207
Joined: August 20th, 2009, 2:46 pm

Re: TCM Race and Hollywood: Arab Images on Film

Post by kingrat »

As some of you have said, King Richard and the Crusaders (1954) is not a bad film, though not a must-see. It's reasonably entertaining, with such oddities as Laurence Harvey with dirty blond hair, Rex Harrison as Saladin wearing a ton of bronzer, and Virginia Mayo playing, not a hash slinger or a burlesque queen, but an English aristocrat. Once again we learn that no matter how humans may disguise themselves, doggies know better.

Joshing aside, this was a good choice for the Arab Images series. The source is Sir Walter Scott's novel The Talisman. Saladin is portrayed as a chivalrous gentleman who wants peace. He even suggests marrying Lady Edith (Mayo) so that there can be peace between Christians and Muslims. The superiority of Muslim medicine to the current state of Christian medicine (historically correct) is shown. Toward the end we're rooting for some good Muslims led by Saladin to defeat some of the bad Christians who are plotting against King Richard. If these events were portrayed in a current movie, no doubt political correctness would underline, italicize and boldface these incidents, and the 1954 film is all the stronger that it places no particular emphasis on any of these matters. Given the Cold War timeframe, perhaps the writers are using the medieval story to plead for peaceful coexistence, although this is merely implied.

I was more intrigued by the truly obscure film The Black Tent (1956), directed by Brian Desmond Hurst. Donald Sinden stars a rich Englishman who suddenly discovers that his older brother, believed to have died in Libya during WWII, may still be alive. Off he goes to find out. At one point we flashback to what actually happened to his brother, played by Anthony Steel, who looks like a more hunkalicious Doug McClure. The Bedouin tents where Steel found shelter are near elaborate Roman ruins, which play an important role in the story. Some scenes were filmed in Libya. The interiors of the Bedouin tents are sumptuously decorated, and the costumes by Beatrice Dawson (Pandora and the Flying Dutchman) are lovely. William Alwyn provided the music. Professor Shaheen rightly called this a "gentle film." Though there a few scenes of the war, this isn't really a war movie, concentrating more on the two different cultures, both treated respectfully. It was based on a novel by Robin Maugham, who also wrote the novel on which The Servant is based. Bryan Forbes also worked on the screenplay, and I'm inclined to credit Forbes for some of the respectful approach to the various characters, even some of the Germans, since that's characteristic of the films he directed.

Powell & Pressburger might have turned The Black Tent into a masterpiece. In a different way, so might David Lean. It isn't, but parts of the film stick in the memory. Anthony Steel and the sheik race to the Roman ruins on camels to get there ahead of the Germans in their armored car. That's powerfully poetic even if the precise sequence of images might have been improved. I don't want to oversell this rather slow-paced and definitely gentle film, but I believe some of you would like it.
User avatar
moira finnie
Administrator
Posts: 8176
Joined: April 9th, 2007, 6:34 pm
Location: Earth
Contact:

Re: TCM Race and Hollywood: Arab Images on Film

Post by moira finnie »

Loved your "doggie" comment and the "hunkalicious" remark! If anyone is interested in seeing it, The Black Tent is streaming online at Netflix. I think it was my favorite "discovery" film all month and you are right that it would have been wonderful if Powell & Pressburger or Lean had a crack at the story. It was good to see poor Donald Sinden getting away from those inevitable comparisons to an aging but still "hunkalious" Clark Gable in Mogambo, (I always figured the wimpiness of Sinden's gorilla specialist was one of John Ford's usual stagey swipes at the English).
Avatar: Frank McHugh (1898-1981)

The Skeins
TCM Movie Morlocks
User avatar
JackFavell
Posts: 11946
Joined: April 20th, 2009, 9:56 am

Re: TCM Race and Hollywood: Arab Images on Film

Post by JackFavell »

MORE HUNKALICIOUS THAN DOUG MCCLURE!


I can see the marquee now....

is such a thing possible? :D :D :roll: :roll:

My favorite discovery was The Band's Visit, a charming, melancholy movie reminiscent of Bill Forsyth's films.
Post Reply