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George Raft

Discussion of the actors, directors and film-makers who 'made it all happen'

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: George Raft

Postby charliechaplinfan » May 29th, 2012, 1:16 pm

I read an interview with Cagney and he says 'Ruby who?' I never knew the lady, when it was pointed out to him that he danced with her, he said the pace of the Warner's films did not allow making acquaintances on set, you turned up, got on with it and left, never had a chance to talk to her. It's true when you look at Cagney's early days, he worked at quite a pace being a leading man from very early on, he made films fast, he did have a point with his grousing.

I'll admit to watching that What's My Line clip again, what tough guy? It's hard to believe he was anything of a tough guy from that clip, he seems too shy, soft spoken, respectful and well mannered. Surely the tempers and fist fights came from someone else? I just can't believe it from that guy.

I did watch a clip of Raft dancing with Carole Lombard in Rumba, I haven't seen the film, so I don't know what context the dance is in in the film but Carole looks a bit annoyed with him at the start of the routine. Now I really know why it's called a penguin suit, the cut does nothing for Raft and the tails are distracting, good dancing though from the pair of them, I never had Carole pegged as a dancer but there's no doubting that it's her doing this dance. For anyone else who wants a guilty 5 minutes

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04J4v9phgBU[/youtube]
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

RedRiver
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Re: George Raft

Postby RedRiver » May 29th, 2012, 1:25 pm

Have you all seen the nice moment in Neil Simon's BROADWAY BOUND? The mother of the young writer reminisces about a time she danced with George Raft. The son pretends to be George and asks her to dance.

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CineMaven
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Re: George Raft

Postby CineMaven » May 29th, 2012, 1:29 pm

Aaaaah. I feel refreshed after those "guilty 5 minutes." George is smooth as silk, and quite commanding. I love his flair and smoky dark eyes. Oh yeah, he can dance too. I felt ev'ry step. :shock:
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: George Raft

Postby charliechaplinfan » May 29th, 2012, 1:36 pm

I haven't seem Neil Simon's Broadway Bound, I'm not that well up on Neil Simon although I know he's quite a seminal writer of the sixties and seventies. I'll look that one up :wink:

I'm very glad to helped refresh you, Theresa. I'm with you on the smoky eyes.
Last edited by charliechaplinfan on May 29th, 2012, 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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pvitari
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Re: George Raft

Postby pvitari » May 29th, 2012, 1:36 pm

I'll admit to watching that What's My Line clip again, what tough guy? It's hard to believe he was anything of a tough guy from that clip, he seems too shy, soft spoken, respectful and well mannered. Surely the tempers and fist fights came from someone else? I just can't believe it from that guy.


Cagney grew up on the streets of New York so he knew how to be tough when he wanted to be. But in real life he was as you noticed -- quiet and even rather introspective. He loved to read, play and listen to music and loved the countryside. He owned several farms and ranches and retreated to the rural life whenever possible. And of course he was a dancer. He learned to dance rather late in life -- around age 19 or so, when he needed a job and was able to find work as a chorus boy!

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: George Raft

Postby charliechaplinfan » May 29th, 2012, 3:50 pm

pvitari wrote:
I'll admit to watching that What's My Line clip again, what tough guy? It's hard to believe he was anything of a tough guy from that clip, he seems too shy, soft spoken, respectful and well mannered. Surely the tempers and fist fights came from someone else? I just can't believe it from that guy.


Cagney grew up on the streets of New York so he knew how to be tough when he wanted to be. But in real life he was as you noticed -- quiet and even rather introspective. He loved to read, play and listen to music and loved the countryside. He owned several farms and ranches and retreated to the rural life whenever possible. And of course he was a dancer. He learned to dance rather late in life -- around age 19 or so, when he needed a job and was able to find work as a chorus boy!


I meant George's What's My Line segment but the same could certainly be said of James Cagney.

Stone in your opinion, did any of Murderer's Row ever make a western where they don't stick out like a sore thumb? I may be unkind but I've never been able to watch Cagney or Bogart's foray into Westerns, the thought of them as cowboys jars with me. I don't know if George ever made any Westerns but I could more believe him that Bogart, Cagney, Robinson or Muni.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Re: George Raft

Postby Western Guy » May 29th, 2012, 7:54 pm

The Oklahoma Kid is entertaining but as Bogie once said, neither he nor Cagney had any business making Westerns. That could go for Eddie Robinson, too -- sort of, though he doesn't seem quite so out of place in his few forays into the genre, such as The Violent Men or Cheyenne Autumn. John Garfield was miscast in a sort of Western Juarez. The closest George came to the genre was Nob Hill. A pretty dull affair (in a role which he inherited from Fred MacMurray), whose only virtue was that it was George's first color movie.

Yes, watching George in those old TV clips make it hard to believe he could ever have been the tough guy he at one time was. But even Jack Warner stated in his autobiography that George had mellowed through the years, but there was a time when he was tougher than any gangster he played onscreen. J.L. would know.

Well RedRiver, when it comes to entertainment, I enjoy it all. BTW: If I may, I just sold my 15th book today: A Western. My fourth in that genre.

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knitwit45
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Re: George Raft

Postby knitwit45 » May 29th, 2012, 8:25 pm

I just sold my 15th book today: A Western. My fourth in that genre.
Good for you, Stone!!!! It's great to hear success stories. What is the title? Do you write in series, or does each one stand alone, without overlaying characters? Again, great news!!!

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Re: George Raft

Postby Western Guy » May 29th, 2012, 9:18 pm

Thanks so much! Was reluctant to toot my own horn but this was a deal that I was really hoping for and wanted to share the news. Actually, after years of burnout at a job I really grew to hate, I made the decision to cast caution to the wind and follow my passion fulltime. Fortunately, it looks as if I haven't made an unwise decision, with my agent negotiating a multi-book deal and, hopefully, some other perks. Funny, though, I've been publishing books since 1985 and this is the first time I can actually feel secure about pursuing writing as a career. Only wish it would have happened 20 years ago.

My latest book is "Black Ransom" and it could probably best be described as a Noir Western. Not exactly Louis L'Amour but from what my agent told me, my new editor had to put down the pages in the final chapters to catch her breath. Now that's what every writer wants to hear. So . . . yes, I'm really excited.

Not a series. Each of my books are stories unto themselves. However, I do have plans to write a sequel to my first Western, following the journey of one of the surviving characters.

Maybe a grandiose idea, but I'd sure like it if my books could re-open the Western genre. Nothing more satisfying IMO than a good cowboy story - book, film or TV.

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knitwit45
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Re: George Raft

Postby knitwit45 » May 29th, 2012, 10:12 pm

cool beans!!!!!
from the time you send your child out into the world, how long is it (on average) before it makes its appearance on bookshelves?

Western Guy
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Re: George Raft

Postby Western Guy » May 30th, 2012, 12:05 am

Fortunately on this book my publisher is looking at an early 2013 release. God, I hope the Mayan calendar proves to be wrong on its prediction for this year. That would be the ultimate kick in the head. Usually, from past experience, from acceptance to publication, it's at least a year. Usually longer. Slow process, which is why most writers look for the upfront dough . . . to sustain them.

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Re: George Raft

Postby CineMaven » May 30th, 2012, 11:04 am

Allison: :) :)

Congratulations Western Guy!! Would the same agent representing you as an author, represent you to see if a movie producer were interested in turning one of your books into a film? It all sounds so exciting!!
"You build my gallows high, baby."

http://www.megramsey.com

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Re: George Raft

Postby Western Guy » May 30th, 2012, 11:41 am

Well, my agent is negotiating all of the contract deals with the publisher. What she did say is that she wants for me to retain the film and audio rights as those are fields she wants to pursue. Fortunately the publisher has agreed to those terms. What I'm also hoping is that my new publisher will purchase the rights of my previous three Westerns so they can receive mass-market distribution. Although these books received wonderful crditical kudos, the distribution through my previous publisher has been limited to online and, more specifically, through libraries.

Thanks so much for your enthusiastic words. Means a LOT to me.

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: George Raft

Postby charliechaplinfan » May 30th, 2012, 12:23 pm

Congratulations Stone, I'm really pleased for you :D . I'm so glad you can pursue it as a career. Which is more enjoyable or perhaps less frustrating, a noir western or a biography of a favourite? I hope your western noirs are a far more profitable line to pursue than writing George's biography, which I know was partly a labour of love for you.

I'm not sure that I will ever watch the Oklahoma Kid, I wonder what Jack Warner was thinking.

I don't disbelieve Jack Warner, it's just hard to match the two images but looking at the early stills, it's easier to see it.

I've been pondering the child/grandchild that George might have had that nobody is sure about. George loved children, many people have said that, it doesn't seem to follow to me that he wouldn't acknowledge/support his own, more likely that he would have played some part in their lives, he was very good with the children of girlfriends. If it's true perhaps it was a tricky relationship with the mother but it still doesn't sound likely. Surely a child would have been mentioned in his will or perhaps he died intestate. I wonder if he was teasing Claire Trevor?
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Re: George Raft

Postby CineMaven » May 30th, 2012, 12:33 pm

Who would dare to tease Claire Trevor?
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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