The April 2013 TCM Schedule

Discussion of programming on TCM.

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JackFavell
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

Post by JackFavell »

I saw it too, Carrie Liz and had almost as strong a reaction as you did. It's like they 'niced' him up in the later movies. He was kind of a jerk in this one for the most part, and very loose, free and easy seeming. You are right, he was GORGEOUS. But I think his charm here is that he really had a role he could sink his teeth into. And he sang like an angel.

[youtube][/youtube]

Bronxgirl is the one to talk to about Stanley Morner. I believe she's a big fan. Next up for me after this eye opening movie is to sit down and watch him in The Hard Way. Bronxie recommended it to me some time ago but I haven't seen it yet.
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Rita Hayworth
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

Post by Rita Hayworth »

Giant

Not having seen this film for years; I was in awe of how well this movie holds up in the sands of time. I loved the way George Stevens made this enduring film and the acting (all the Star Power there) was fabulous from top to bottom. I just in awe of the photography and Cinematography by William C. Mello was outstanding as Drew Barrymore pointed out to all of us that watched Giant tonight. I am being to understand more and more about her and she made some excellent points tonight on TCM.

To me, (I maybe in the minority here) I was surprised that Robert Osborne said that (Stevens, I think) Stevens wanted Grace Kelly in the role of Leslie Lynnton Benedict and I just don't quite understand why Robert made all of those comments ... its just doesn't makes any sense. I thought that Liz Taylor was born to play that role and was puzzled (she was 24, Kelly would been 27 when the movie was released) ... that Liz was too young to play it. I just don't quite understand his comments at all.

This is one of those rare times that I did not understand his comments.

This film was 3 hours and 30 minutes long and I was surprised how fast the pace of this film is really is. It's partly due to the credit of George Stevens that directed and produced this iconic film.

This movie, also reminded me how good an actor James Dean really is ... its too bad that he died so suddenly and did not able to see the release of this film. I was in awe of his performance as Jett Rink.

Anyway, this is powerful film and there is lots of themes in this movie and I for one, can clearly see many of them that are relevant as time marches on in this film chronicling the lives of the Benedicts. Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor was magnificent and as I think about this film ... these films gets better with age.

I enjoyed watching this movie tonight and I'm shaking my head thinking about history of Texas that easily sums up in this movie and I'm happy that I watched it today.

Hope some of you get a chance to watch this legendary film.
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

Post by mrsl »

.
Rita: I have to agree with you about how good Giant is although I didn't watch it tonight, I've seen it countless times before. Liz and Rock were a perfect match and I couldn't see Grace Kelly in it at all, but she was in very high demand for the few years she was acting.

It's hard to imagine that James Dean only made 3 films isn't it? He is more 'normal' in front of the camera, than many actors who worked for years and never achieved that nonchalance attitude that is true acting. He's so comfortable, you forget he's an actor and not that person he's playing.

Carroll Baker was a spitfire in this one also. I loved her, but she's one who never got into that comfort zone.

My very favorite scene was at the end with the two little boy babies in the playpen. Both were so adorable, I could eat them both up. Also not to forget Sal Mineo in his small part. Another guy who could probably be playing great parts of grandfathers by now if not leaving us at a young age.
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Anne


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* * * * * * * * What is past is prologue. * * * * * * * *

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moira finnie
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

Post by moira finnie »

Yes, I saw Dennis Morgan in Mama Steps Out (1937) too--and was surprised that I had never seen him so young and engagingly raffish. How much higher his tenor voice was! It made me realize that he had most likely been a boy soprano not too many years before this film. He was always cute but certainly made the most of this part when he was still appearing as Stanley Morner (which was close to his birth name of Earl Stanley Morner). I wonder if part of the coltish charm he projected here was due to his eagerness to please?

Thanks for posting those great screen caps from this movie, Carrie (now known as The Ingenue)!

Based on what appears online, it appears that it would be a few years of appearances (some uncredited) appearing with his birth name of Stanley Morner and then as "Richard Stanley" before his name change, a few more B movie roles (including the highly entertaining but weird 1939 Humphrey Bogart film, The Return of Doctor X) before his breakthrough roles (both non-singing) in The Fighting 69th (1940) and eventually Kitty Foyle (1940) allowed him to become well known enough to earn a full page photo in the January 1941 edition of Photoplay, seen below.

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Bronxgirl48
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

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I've been a swoony Dennis Morgan fan since first seeing him in THE HARD WAY. Pull back the Warner publicity curtain and facts reveal that apparently he hadn't a drop of Irish blood in him, and yet he seemed to embody a very "Irish" charm characterized by breezy self-confidence plus -- how convenient -- an exquisite tenor voice (yes, Dennis sang like an angel!) He never seemed to be trying too hard but effortlessly came across as professional and at ease in front of the camera. He seemed superficially just "there", but you definitely felt a....presence -- comforting but never bland, grounded yet dreamily handsome and romantic, somewhat cocky but also sweet and reliable.

His devil-may-care facade was utilized extremely well as the good-looking, suave half of Runkle and Collins in THE HARD WAY, and I love all his cat-and-mouse scenes with Ida Lupino. I think they could have gotten a Jeffrey Lynn-type for CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT; Dennis was too charismatic for that part. I feel he's terribly miscast in KITTY FOYLE. There's nothing Main Line about Dennis, which I think is part of his great appeal.

There are so many Morgan films I still need to see.
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JackFavell
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

Post by JackFavell »

I just watched him this morning playing a prince in Two Guys from Milwaukee. And he lost the girl!

To JACK CARSON! That was a first for me. :D

Gorgeous pic Moira! And here I am calling him a darlin' Irish boy.... :roll:
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Bronxgirl48
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

Post by Bronxgirl48 »

Ha! Must have been some kind of in-joke for Dennis to lose a girl to Jack.

And, wait a minute -- he's also a prince????

Despite apparent evidence to the contrary, I absolutely refuse to believe Dennis isn't Irish, lol.
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Bronxgirl48
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

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Oy, CAN-CAN....

All I can ever associate it with is Khruschev visiting the set, which epitomizes the movie for me -- charmless, flat, big-screen, dull 1950's movie.
Last edited by Bronxgirl48 on April 28th, 2013, 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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moira finnie
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

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I learned from Facebook this morning that on the TCM Friday Night Showcase the other day when they showed Kitty Foyle (1940), that guest host Cher dissed the Den-man!! Apparently, Robert Osborne leapt to DM's defense and said he liked him, at least. And yes, I am such a sappy happy nerd I belong to a Dennis Morgan fan group there.

How vexing that others cannot see his appeal, but hey, we all have our quirks! He may not have been convincingly mainline Philly in Kitty Foyle, but he wouldn't have had to ask me twice to have dinner with him in that cozy restaurant after we put his New Yorkerish magazine to bed (so to speak). I think this role was a very big step for him.

If you have a chance, Bronxie, catch him in In This Our Life (1942). Directed by John Huston and featuring one of Bette Davis' more uh, "flamboyant" aka out-of-control portrayals of a human (okay, her character is sort of human, but she's also a serial liar, very poor driver, racist, and beau stealer from way back, who also may have been having an incestuous affair with a relative who ruined her Pop). You'd think that Dennis would just blend into the wallpaper with that kind of dramatic firepower on screen, huh? Well, he doesn't. He too has some interesting character flaws...to put it mildly...and boy, does he pay!--but not before he gets a few good licks in, as you can see below. I'm not an advocate of violence in any form, but that really shocked me when I saw it (though my naughty evil twin wondered how many people who worked with Bette might have had this urge occasionally):
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

Post by Bronxgirl48 »

moira, what did Cher say about Dennis in KITTY FOYLE? Okay, so he didn't have any blue blood in him -- but there was certainly plenty of red -- right, girls? I'd have made my own main line toward him.

All I've seen of IN THIS OUR LIFE are those indelible scenes of Bette "flirting" with a certain male relative to get what she wants out of him and then furiously rejecting the old goat when her own shabby moral hide is at stake. Ooooh, Dennis giving Bette her due? Can't wait!
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moira finnie
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

Post by moira finnie »

Bronxgirl48 wrote:moira, what did Cher say about Dennis in KITTY FOYLE?
I didn't see this and can't find it online at TCM or on youtube, but the incident was described on facebook as a sarcastic Cher commenting negatively on Dennis's acting skills and included some remark that he wasn't "worthy to carry the coat of other stars such as William Holden." This is when Robert O. felt obliged to state that Dennis Morgan was a likable performer. Jeez, I don't think the relatively modest Dennis would have said he was ever going to be the American Olivier or even any American tough guy type. He sang, he danced, he clowned around, he looked appropriately dreamy in a '40s way, and when needed, he was a decent supporting actor.

Bronxie, have you ever seen The Very Thought of You (1944)? It is on TCM on June 3rd and it is a rather well done small scale love story with Eleanor Parker as a girl from a troubled family who meets Dennis on the street and brings him home for dinner. It was written and directed by Delmer Daves (whose movies I really like).

Also, God Is My Co-Pilot (1945) is on TCM on May 27th. It may be mockworthy for some people due to that cornball title, but I found it rather touching and fairly unpretentious. Morgan plays a pilot in China during the war who tries to avoid complete despair as the war grinds on.
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

Post by Bronxgirl48 »

Cher always speaks her mind, doesn't she, lol? That kind of candor is refreshing I guess, up to a point! (I'm glad RO reminded her of Dennis' strengths; however, I can't agree with him about Grace Kelly in GIANT, but, that's another story...)

I'm vaguely aware of GOD IS MY CO-PILOT but have never seen it. Is that the one where the "Japs" keep up a taunting refrain of "All right for you, Yanks!", and there's an American bomber crew with names like Brooklyn, Dakota, et al, plus an accordian-playing corn-fed boy who you know is never going back to Nebraska or Kansas? I'm very excited by your description of THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU -- never even heard of this one,and I also like seeing early Parker. Thanks for these two heads-up for all us exclusive Morgan-ites!
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

Post by The Ingenue »

For the record. ( And typed hunt-and-peck on the iPad, so you know, this is dedication. )
  • ROBERT: Now, uh, Dennis Morgan....You weren't crazy about Dennis Morgan.
    CHER:No. It's not that I wasn't... Well, I wasn't crazy about him. You're right. For me, he was kind of 'fluff.' You know? He just... I know he could sing. I just never... He doesn't...doesn't have any weight to him. You know? And...
    ROBERT: Hmmm... Interesting. 'Cause I always thought he was kind of a nice, attractive leading-man, with... He seemed like a nice fellow.
    CHER: He did seem like a nice fellow.
    ROBERT: But I would agree with you. He wasn't like...wasn't like a heavy, uh...or like a William Holden. Have that kind of heft to him.
    CHER: No. He wasn't anything like... He couldn't even hold William Holden's coat!
    ROBERT: Well, I have to say, I don't think many people could.
    CHER: No. He is GREAT.
    ROBERT: I think that there was almost no part that he couldn't have played better. You know.
    CHER: Yes!
    ROBERT: Than almost any other actor of his time.
    CHER: No. I mean, I think almost anybody... I mean, I'm sure I'm gonna get hate mail from all the Dennis Morgan fans.
    ROBERT: Well, yeah, but I like Dennis Morgan. So, we've got one vote for Dennis.
    CHER: Okay. Right! Okay.
    ROBERT: But I do think William Holden was the best, no matter what he did...
What a still, Moira! That still from "In This Our Life"... I'd plumb forgotten about Dennis' turn in that movie.
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moira finnie
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

Post by moira finnie »

Thanks for the transcript, Carrie. I really appreciate it--it does make me wonder if Cher has only seen Dennis Morgan in a very few films. Actually, I don't think that Morgan's character should have any "weight" in this role in Kitty Foyle since he is playing a man whose life has been smooth sailing for so long, his saving grace is that he senses (even if he can't quite articulate it) that something is missing. I believe that is one reason why he becomes enamored with Kitty (Ginger Rogers), though once he is exposed to the disapproval of his family, he crumbles, predictably.

I have a feeling that the ever-dedicated Bette probably insisted on making that slap as realistic as possible in In This Our Life. I sure hope she wasn't really hurt.

I'm so glad that you were able to make the transition to your new name without much inconvenience from CarrieLiz to The Ingenue. It's a pleasure to see you here anytime.
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Re: The April 2013 TCM Schedule

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I think Cher should check out Dennis in THE HARD WAY.

Did anyone see THE AMBASSADOR'S DAUGHTER?

It had a certain je ne sais blah.

The only scintillation came from Livvy (terrible '50's hairstyle, and just a wee bit long in the tooth to play this kind of part) and Myrna's (around 50, and fabulous) necklaces. They seemed to have shopped at the same Parisian jewelry store.

The big screen was not made for John Forsythe.

Wasted: Francis Lederer, looking like he wished he were back in one of those '30's screwball comedies.

Olivia's family and friends travel around in a pack, much like Peter Gallagher's relatives in WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING, only with considerably less vitality.

More grievous casting: Tommy Noonan as John's "sidekick". I could hardly believe the screen time allotted to him, and felt positively ill when the camera seemed to enjoy showing off Noonan in his underwear. I was surprised by my visceral reaction to Tommy here, because I enjoy him in GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES.

Edward Arnold looked uneasily to me like the large blobby alien creature in the box from that old Outer Limits episode, "Don't Open Till Doomsday" (with Miriam Hopkins)
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