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Coming Up on TCM

Discussion of programming on TCM.

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Re: Coming Up on TCM

Postby CineMaven » May 15th, 2012, 10:10 am

D'ohhhhhhhhhhh! I wish I didn't have to run out of the house this minute (want to catch a 12:00pm show of "The Hunger Games" and be out in the modern world) but I want to say I pretty much agree with everything you say Madame Moira...and the way you've written it. (Funny and edgy as usual :D ). Of course I have my own take on Jean Peters, the oiliness of a 1950's husband, the storyline and let me not leave out that showstopping force of nature!

...And Niagara Falls was magnificent too.

That pix of your mom and the baby Finnie is lovely and too precious for words. (She's got a little show-stopping thing going on herself!)

More comments later.
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Re: Coming Up on TCM

Postby Vecchiolarry » May 15th, 2012, 5:44 pm

Dear Moira,

I love "Niagara" - simply because of Marilyn Monroe; I thought she gave a very good accounting of herself as a poor dumb girl looking to have some fun in the big city and hitching the first 'nutcase' to come along and take her away.

Secondly, I like it because Richard Allan is in it, as the lover. He was at one time, one of my grandmother's "boyfriends"..... He was a nice guy - never made it past this role though...
Nell got it for him....

Lastly, I would have thrown Max over the falls instead of Cotton; there's no justice in the world, is there?

Larry

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Re: Coming Up on TCM

Postby moira finnie » May 15th, 2012, 6:56 pm

I watched part of Niagara to see what I was missing about Marilyn Monroe. She still makes me sad, though I have always thought that she had talent and considerable courage, considering her multiple emotional handicaps. I guess I just wish she could have escaped her fate. And thanks for the laugh you gave me about Max going over the Falls, Larry! (Your grandmother must have been a hoot and a half. Was Richard Allan before or after Steve Cochran? Or was Steve a "floater" who appeared occasionally?).

I look forward to your comments, Cine. And thanks for complimenting Mom. She was a wee bit tired when that picture was taken (she had four children under the age of six at the time, with me bringing up the rear :shock:). When she had time to catch some zzzzs, brush her hair and put on a nice frock, she cut quite a swath among the hicks where we were living. After two decades dressed to the nines, working on a series of magazines and in advertising agencies in Manhattan, she had to fall in love with a guy with a yen to go back to the land. Is it any wonder why The Egg and I reminds me of her? Mommy is going back in my files and into my heart again now that Mother's Day is over, but next month I'll have to trot out Dad for Father's Day. He was a cutie.
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Re: Coming Up on TCM

Postby Vecchiolarry » May 16th, 2012, 12:16 am

Hi Moira,

Ha, ha - Steve came and went - he was traded between Nell and Merle Oberon... Perhaps others??
Nell bought him the yacht that he was sailing when he died; Merle was the one who alerted the Mexican & Guatemalan coastal police about him being missing.

Richard Allan was only around for about a year, '52/'53, and then not seen again.....

Larry

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Re: Coming Up on TCM

Postby CineMaven » May 16th, 2012, 6:18 am

moirafinnie wrote:I look forward to your comments, Cine. And thanks for complimenting Mom. She was a wee bit tired when that picture was taken (she had four children under the age of six at the time, with me bringing up the rear :shock:). When she had time to catch some zzzzs, brush her hair and put on a nice frock, she cut quite a swath among the hicks where we were living. After two decades dressed to the nines, working on a series of magazines and in advertising agencies in Manhattan, she had to fall in love with a guy with a yen to go back to the land. Is it any wonder why The Egg and I reminds me of her? Mommy is going back in my files and into my heart again now that Mother's Day is over, but next month I'll have to trot out Dad for Father's Day. He was a cutie.


Whoa! Your mother's life sounds very interesting...that career gal part' especially back then. Sounds like Hope Lange in "The Best of Everything' Or (according to Jack Favell) is that Tab Hunter in "Battle Cry." Bet there's a story in there with your mom. "The Egg And I" HA!!

Now tell me...who are these folks in your avatar?
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Re: Coming Up on TCM

Postby moira finnie » May 16th, 2012, 8:10 am

Yeah, Mom was a bit of a groundbreaker. I "shudder" to think how much she might have accomplished nowadays, though her sarcastic streak and pointed humor would have to be suppressed a bit in our time. :wink:

The people in my current avatar are Anton Walbrook, Glynis Johns & Niall MacGinnis in the Powell & Pressburger film, 49th Parallel (1941). MacGinnis, playing a redeemable Nazi who was part of an invading band in Canada, is in the background. Walbrook played a Hutterite who tries to encourage the German to stay in their community. Johns played a young Hutterite girl.

I chose the avatar because some days I just can't get enough Anton. The noble character he played here was one of his more affecting portrayals. You can see this movie on youtube here, but 49th Parallel will also be on TCM on Tuesday, July 31 @ 11:15 PM (ET). It's also available on DVD.The one drawback is the OTT but jaw-droppingly weird performance by Laurence Olivier as a French Canadian trapper (Olivier reportedly cringed when reminded of his work here & Michael Powell wrote that he was too busy on the film to really rein in the talented actor's hamminess...and oh! that accent).

Here's a scene from the film that I just love with the excellent, keyed-up Eric Portman as the leader of the Nazis trying to foment racial pride among these peaceful people. The contrast between the bombastic Portman and the soft-spoken Walbrook's quiet eloquence is very moving:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdTILENaYXw[/youtube]
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Re: Coming Up on TCM

Postby moira finnie » May 16th, 2012, 10:42 am

I thought perhaps that those interested in Niagara might like to see Suzidoll's insightful post on the Movie Morlocks site entitled Over the Falls With Marilyn Monroe
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Re: Coming Up on TCM

Postby Jezebel38 » May 16th, 2012, 11:31 am

moirafinnie wrote:I chose the avatar because some days I just can't get enough Anton.


Moira - I know how you feel ... here is another little fix :)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvbNN2KRhHs[/youtube]

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Re: Coming Up on TCM

Postby kingrat » May 16th, 2012, 12:01 pm

Moira, thanks for calling attention to suzidoll's excellent post about Niagara. My feelings about Marilyn Monroe have changed in the last few years. I simply don't like her as much as I once did. I like some of her films and appreciate the qualities she brings to the screen, but would not watch or, especially, re-watch a movie just because she was in it.

49th Parallel is rather long and disjointed, but the Hutterite episode really stands out, not least because of Anton Walbrook.

More Joel McCrea tonight.

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Re: Coming Up on TCM

Postby moira finnie » May 19th, 2012, 10:50 am

Jezebel38 wrote:
moirafinnie wrote:I chose the avatar because some days I just can't get enough Anton.


Moira - I know how you feel ... here is another little fix :)


Oooh, Jezebel! I have always wanted to see Walbrook and Chatterton in The Rat (1937)--not just because of the leading players, but also because it features René Ray & Beatrix Lehmann, two very interesting if rather forgotten actresses of the period. They were both uniquely appealing in a favorite film of mine, The Passing of the Third Floor Back (1935), which I wrote about here. I wonder if The Rat or The Passing... might ever be shown on TCM?

Below: René Ray and Anton Walbrook looking rather lovely in "The Rat"(1937). René Ray chucked the hurly-burly of the silver screen and stage to become the Countess of Midleton and became a novelist in later life.
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Re: Coming Up on TCM

Postby Jezebel38 » May 19th, 2012, 11:35 am

Moira - I had only stumbled across that clip from THE RAT recently - too bad the OP hasn't uploaded the whole film, but at least we know it survives. Wow, lovely pics of Rene Ray - she is stunning; and Anton has that "look" down pat doesn't he? Thanks for posting. (Oh, also your prior avatar - on first glance I thought it was John Gielgud!)

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Re: Coming Up on TCM

Postby moira finnie » May 19th, 2012, 12:55 pm

I have more Anton Walbrook pictures and some more info about him and his films. To be polite to others who might actually be looking for info about what is coming up on TCM, I'll start a thread in The People of Film just for him, Jez and anyone else who needs more Anton. It will be found here:
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=5738&p=104455#p104455
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Re: Coming Up on TCM

Postby CineMaven » May 20th, 2012, 2:22 pm

Anton? Wow...at a quick glance, I thought that was Robert Donat.
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Re: Coming Up on TCM

Postby moira finnie » May 20th, 2012, 3:59 pm

Hey! Break out the sangria! It's Cesar Romero Night on TCM on Sunday.

Captain From Castile (1947) Sunday, May 20 @8PM (ET)
Tyrone Power has many fine moments in this story that sweeps from the plains and courts of Spain during the Inquisition to the conquest in Mexico. Cesar Romero really shines in this story along with a great supporting cast that includes Lee J. Cobb as a likable man who has an impulse control problem when he imbibes--though his character of Juan Garcia has an admirable depth provided by Cobb as he reached the height of his powers as an actor. Alan Mowbray shows up with only one eye and a tender heart, along with stalwarts John Sutton (as an oily opportunist working for the Inquisition), the dignified Antonio Moreno as Ty's Papa, Thomas Gomez as a Padre, George Zucco, Marc Lawrence, and superb locations in the country of Mexico, complete with volcanoes steaming in the background!

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For me, spying Cesar Romero in the cast of a movie can be like spotting a welcome friend at a dull party. You know things are going to get a bit more interesting if he is there. Too often only remembered for his enthusiastically gleeful turn as the campy villain, The Joker on the sixties tv show, Batman, Cesar Romero had a much longer and interesting career than that one role might indicate. The Manhattan-born Romero was the well-educated child of Cuban parents (there is one still controversial story that claims that he was the natural grandson of Cuban patriot José Martí). Cesar became a ballroom dancer in his twenties and then evolved into a stage actor in the late twenties and early thirties. At one point he became a bit of a Broadway sensation, particularly in Preston Sturges' biggest stage hit, the audacious late jazz age tale, Strictly Dishonorable.

Appearing in his first movie in 1934, the actor's best parts in films came when he blended his air of exoticism with an underlying good humor in roles such as Khoda Khan in the Shirley Temple film, Wee Willie Winkie (1937-John Ford), as the compassionate Ram Dass in Temple's The Little Princess (1939-Walter Lang), and as the head of a family of Italian acrobats in the Greer Garson vehicle, Julia Misbehaves (1948-Jack Conway). I also like his mock hoodlum in Tall Dark and Handsome (1941-H. Bruce Humberstone) and his wolfish character in Orchestra Wives (1942-Archie Mayo). Appearing six times as The Cisco Kid in the early forties, Romero also carried some obscure but mildly interesting British noirs in the early fifties under the Lippert-Hammer Films banner, (The Shadow Man, Scotland Yard Inspector).

Most often cast as a secondary leading man, Romero's best remembered films required him to concede the leading lady to another man. How often did he have to vie with John Payne/George Montgomery/Victor Mature for the hand of Sonja Henie/Betty Grable/Alice Faye and lose gracefully by The End? I sure lost count somewhere around Springtime in the Rockies. Tonight's first movie on TCM, Captain From Castile (1948), allowed the actor to play the historical figure of Spanish explorer, Hernando Cortez. In the film, Romero brings to life this complex figure as an adventurer, opportunist and military leader exploring and exploiting the New World of Mexico. At times charming, cunning and ruthless, it is great fun to see Romero having the time of his life at the head of an army, occasionally wresting the attention of the audience away from the central hero played-by the actor's friend, Tyrone Power. The only thing wrong with Romero's Cortez is that the part deserved a bigger portion of the story.
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Above: A bemused Cortez (Cesar Romero) evaluates the person of Jean Peters as Lee J. Cobb and Tyrone Power look on.

The Captain From Castile (1948-Henry King) is the kind of "major motion picture" that must be fun to see in a real theater, even though it is a wee bit long and sometimes lumbers as it marches through Spanish history. The movie was based on a 500+ page novel by Samuel Shellabarger which rode the best seller lists in 1944-1945. Most of that tome could not be translated to the screen because that movie might have been longer than Greed (1923) and because it might have tread roughly on the toenails of the Vatican and the entire continent of Central and South America. At the end of the day, it remains a gorgeous-looking movie, easy to be swept up in as an example of the studio system's ability to mount a story magnificently just as the same system started to decay. One reason for the film's beauty is undoubtedly the three Directors of Photography laboring to bring forth an epic eyeful on the screen: Charles G. Clarke, Arthur E. Arling, and Joseph LaShelle making this Technicolor trip through the New World meeting the Old.

The movie was helmed by Henry King, the longtime director who helped to shape Tyrone Power's stardom, beginning with Lloyd's of London (1936). King, who had made movies from 1913 to 1962, had several good flicks to his credit. Some of those are Tol'able David (1921), The White Sister (1923), Stella Dallas (1925), a beautifully done but barely known remake of Way Down East (1935), as well as later films such as The Song of Bernadette (1943) and Twelve O'Clock High (1949) to his credit. Those movies often told solemn but sympathetic stories that highlighted the talent of the actors involved in star-making roles, among them Power, Richard Barthelmess, Ronald Colman, Henry Fonda, and Jennifer Jones. King also made a few movies when the solemnity won out over the storytelling and the portrayals. Maybe Captain From Castile is one of them, but as a spectacle, it is still pretty compelling.

Additionally, it has an exceptional musical score by Alfred Newman and Vicente Gomez (which was Oscar-nominated), and lots of color and dash, though the leading man seems a bit tired by it all, (this was the postwar stage when a restless Power was trying to break free from his swashbuckling ghetto in his film roles).

The movie begins promisingly, as Spanish lads Tyrone Power finds himself drawn into a conflict with another man, John Sutton over a lady (Barbara Lawrence, as a pretty unlikely Spanish senorita). Soon, he is forced to battle the whole Spanish Inquisition from afar. He's so far away he is doing it from another hemisphere as he helps Cortez bring "civilization" to the Aztecs in Mexico while the conquistadors scoop up any stray gold. Jean Peters, then a non-actress but stunning beauty, who won a contest concocted by the studio to fill the role of the poor servant girl after Linda Darnell & Jennifer Jones both wriggled free from the part, pines for the love of Power for much of the film. She is pretty darn good, though she got better as her movie career moved along until she chose to become the second consort of Howard Hughes (I always thought that Peters, Debra Paget, and Jeanne Crain, who all worked at 20th Century Fox, might easily have been sisters, but maybe this just tells us more than we need to know about Darryl F. Zanuck's taste in dark-haired women).

One other character I wish that they had allowed to be developed a bit more: the role of Estela Inda, who played Cortez's Aztec interpreter, another real life personage, reputedly Cortez’s lover and translator, known as "La Malinche" or "Malina."
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Cesar Romero as Cortez and Estela Inda as the translator and mistress of Cortez, "Malina" in Captain From Castile.

"La Malinche" is sometimes depicted in Mexican lore as a slave who bore Cortez's child and as a representative figure of a Mexican figure who colluded with the Europeans to betray her own people. This point is so subliminally alluded to in this movie that she is merely inscrutable and mysterious, rather than conflicted, though the actress conveys enough tension and dignity in her scenes that she is often more compelling than the dialogue indicates.

Also on the Romero Menu on TCM tonight:

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Above: Milton Berle and Cesar Romero apparently invest in a Velasquez painting of the Spanish Royal Family in A Gentleman at Heart (1942).

A Gentleman at Heart (1942 Sunday, May 20 @10:30PM (ET)
Cesar Romero is starred as a bookie who becomes involved in the art market. Carole Landis, J. Carrol Naish, Jerome Cowan, Matt McHugh, Elisha Cook, Jr. and Steven Geray are among the supporting players. Unfortunately Milton Berle is also listed prominently, though I might be able to ignore his presence. Sounds diverting and it might be fun in a Runyonesque way. I'll probably give it a try. Has anyone else ever seen this movie?
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Re: Coming Up on TCM

Postby ChiO » May 24th, 2012, 6:40 pm

Some swell latter-day Gangster movies tonight. My Flicks-Picks-to-Click (all times CST):

7:00pm -- DILLINGER (1945) -- Lawrence Tierney portrays...oh, never mind. Lawrence Tierney, 'nuff said.

12:15am -- THE RISE AND FALL OF LEGS DIAMOND (1960) -- Budd Boetticher shows that he can do more than Randolph Scott Westerns. All he needs is Ray Danton and cinematography by Lucien Ballard.

And for Rod Steiger fans (shouldn't we all be?), AL CAPONE (1959) at 8:30pm. With James Gregory.
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