The VCR / DVR / Streaming Alert Thread

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Postby FilmFan720 » Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:11 pm

Actually, One Way Passage was on a few weeks ago with their Kay Francis marathon. It is a really sweet picture, with a great ending and some great performances. If you haven't seen it, it is well worth checking out.
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Postby dws1982 » Sun Sep 21, 2008 10:45 pm

Tomorrow night is a great night on TCM:

Jacques Tourneur's masterpiece Stars in My Crown is at 9:30. One Way Passage, and 1933 Original Story winner is at 11:15. Then two Anthony Mann films follow: Devil's Doorway at 12:30 and The Tall Target at 2:00.

None of these are on DVD, and most don't even show up on TV all that often. (Stars in My Crown was the most recently shown of these, and it aired about six months ago.)

These movies are bookended by two more masterpieces, William Dieterle's Portrait of Jennie at 8:00, and Anthony Mann's The Man From Laramie and 3:30, although since those are on DVD, you don't have to put such a high priority on them.

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Postby Mister Tee » Wed Aug 06, 2008 9:28 am

dws1982 wrote:6:00 PM is her second nominated performance in The Pumpkin Eater, which isn't on DVD, and I can't recall ever showing up on TV, in the time that I've been watching the schedules. She also won Best Actress at Cannes for this. (In a tie with Barbara Barrie for One Potato, Two Potato, a movie that I keep hoping will turn up on TV somewhere.)

I saw The Pumpkin Eater back in the late 80s/early 90s, and can't recall if it was on TV (TNT, in its proto-TCM incarnation) or in VHS.

One Potato Two Potato was a screenplay nominee that year; Barrie was a possible best actress contender who failed to make the cut -- perhaps her Breaking Away nod was partly in recompense. The film showed up on PBS one night about a decade or so back, but has otherwise not entered my universe. It's not a terribly good movie, coasting mostly on its "bold" racial topic. It's stronger than Pinky, for sure, and has a tougher tone than any of the mainstream Poitier efforts of the era, but still feels pretty old-hat these days.

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Postby dws1982 » Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:15 pm

Tomorrow TCM is having Anne Bancroft day.

At 9:30 AM they're showing Jacques Tourneur's Nightfall, which is not shown often.

12:30 PM is Seven Women, which is John Ford's final film, and is unbelievably not on DVD yet, despite Ford being very well-represented on DVD overall. It doesn't show up incredibly often either.

6:00 PM is her second nominated performance in The Pumpkin Eater, which isn't on DVD, and I can't recall ever showing up on TV, in the time that I've been watching the schedules. She also won Best Actress at Cannes for this. (In a tie with Barbara Barrie for One Potato, Two Potato, a movie that I keep hoping will turn up on TV somewhere.)




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Postby Big Magilla » Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:11 am

I guess I need to watch Min and Bill again.

I remembered it being quite the tearjerker when I first watched it decades ago, but when when I watched it again in the 80s or 90s I thought it contained more slapstick comedy than I recalled.

For the Oscar year 1928-1929 they didn't announce nominations but at the awards ceremony announced other names the judges had considered. For more than 70 years the runners-up to Mary Pickford were recorded as Ruth Chatterton, Betty Compson, Jeanne Eagels and Bessie Love, then out of the blue the Academy added Griffith's name.

I thought she was OK, certainly better than Pickford, though not Chatterton, Eagels or Love but the standout performance for me was Ian Keith as Emma Hart's first lover/seducer, the nephew of Lord Hamilton played by H.B. Warner. With a look here, a gesture there, he makes what could have been a stock character come vibrantly alive.

The film itself is very fluid with great cinematography, editing, art direction and costume design. Lloyd's Oscar was not unearned.

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Postby Reza » Tue Aug 05, 2008 6:23 am

Mister Tee wrote:The fascinating thing about Divine Lady is, it's essentially the first version of That Hamilton Woman -- something of which I was certainly unaware when I sat down to watch it.

I read somewhere that Corinne Griffith was a best actress nominee for this film.

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Postby Mister Tee » Mon Aug 04, 2008 12:37 pm

The surprise about Min and Bill (Michael Gebert also mentioned this, in his Encyclopedia of Film awards) is that it's not the knockabout comic film a Dressler/Beery pariring would suggest, but one of the many sacrificing-mother-love films of the era.

The fascinating thing about Divine Lady is, it's essentially the first version of That Hamilton Woman -- something of which I was certainly unaware when I sat down to watch it.

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Postby flipp525 » Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:58 am

Big Magilla wrote:I prefer Dressler's lovely understated work in Emma to her boisterous performance in Min and Bill. Tugboat Annie, also on tomorrow, is somewhere in between.

SPOILERS…

Big Magilla, I agree with you that Dressler's performance in the surprising Emma is understated and wonderful. But, the image of Min stridently being escorted by police through a sea of onlookers with a tear coming down her face is one I will never forget. A truly fabulous turn by one of the great stars of the early talkie period.

Both films are well worth watching.




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Postby Big Magilla » Mon Aug 04, 2008 12:33 am

Don't forget The Divine Lady, Frank Lloyd's first Oscar winner for direction.

I prefer Dressler's lovely understated work in Emma to her boisterous performance in Min and Bill. Tugboat Annie, also on tomorrow, is somewhere in between.

Emma is also the better film with great support from Richard Cromwell and Jean Hersholt. Myrna Loy is also memorable as a hissable cold-hearted bitch.

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Postby dws1982 » Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:49 pm

Tomorrow they're showing Marie Dressler movies, and a lot of those are not available on DVD.

At 10:00 PM they show her winning performance in Min and Bill, and at 11:15 PM they show her nominated performance in Emma.

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Postby Damien » Thu Jul 17, 2008 2:50 pm

Tee, I couldn't stop laughing at your account of your He Who Must Die screening, especially the Col. Boogey March. (I might not have felt the same way had I been there, though.)

The Trans-Lux 85th Street was one of my favorite theatres. The little faux French village lobby was wondrous. I curse the apartment house that stands in its place every time I pass it.

I only post in the Alerts thread when there's a film that is rarely screened. Plus it has to be of some interest, either because of an Oscar nomination or a worthwhile director. I don't bother, for example, with obscure J. Lee Thompson British films from the mid-50s.
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Postby Mister Tee » Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:29 am

Thanks, dws, re: Outcast.

I saw He Who Must Die, but under about the worst circumstances imaginable. I was a high school junior; several classes, including ours, were taken (compelled) to see it, around the corner at the long-defunct Trans-Lux 85th Street. Given that it was subtitled and full of religious allegory/symbolism, you can imagine it was not a project to warm the hearts of late teens (even ones from a thought-elite school). People started making sophomoric cracks very early on (whistling the Col. Bogey March when a group of, I believe, lepers appeared); before long it was at Mystery Science Theatre 3000 level. Finally a teacher came to the front and chewed us out; we all got in serious trouble. So, it's hard for me to trust any opinion I have. (For what it's worth, however -- I know she's loathed around here -- Pauline Kael thought the whole thing was pseudo-arty horse-pucky).

One Way Passage was a movie of which I'd never heard until my mother-in-law started describing the plot. We tracked it down and taped it for her off TNT (back in the days when it had all the TCM movies). I was startled to discover it was actually an Oscar-winner for screenplay. It's sentimental, needless to say, but packs a punch.

They Won't Forget is in the same pretty-decent class as They Won't Believe Me.

The Seventh Cross is one of the most tension-filled behind enemy lines films I've ever seen. Literally every character except Tracy is a potential betrayer; it's truly nerve-racking to watch him feel out each one in succession.

John Cromwell, the director of Abe Lincoln in Illinois, is probably best known today as James Cromwell's father. But I've always thought of him as one of the most interesting trivia-question directors, along the lines of What director you've practically never heard of directed the most movies you have heard of? Of Human Bondage, The Prisoner of Zenda, Algiers, Abe Lincoln in Illinois, The Enchanted Cottage, Since You Went Away, Anna and the King of Siam, Caged, The Goddess -- there are directors with major reputations with not close to as many familiar titles.




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Postby Big Magilla » Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:17 pm

dws1982 wrote:Has anyone seen Anthony Mann's Reign of Terror (aka Black Book) off of TCM? I passed up on the chance to record it the other day because I had it coming from Netflix, only to put the disc in and find out that it looked worse than a 10th generation VHS. It was truly unwatchable.

Has anyone ever watched Jules Dassin's He Who Must Die? I'm not a huge fan of Dassin based on what I've seen, but I've really been wanting to see that for awhile, since it's based on one of my five or so favorite novels of all time. (Kazantzakis's Christ Recrucified, aka The Greek Passion.) MGM HD apparently aired it earlier this month, but DirecTV took it out of the regular package, so I don't have it anymore. But if it's worthy and if I can find that MGM HD is going to air it again in a few months, I might see about getting it added again so I can DVR it. (When I had it, MGM HD actually showed some pretty good, and pretty rare films, usually in pristine prints, although not all were true HD.)

The Black Book is a good film even if Robert Cummings is miscast. Reign of Terror is the U.K. title.

I caught a glimpse of it on TCM while it was on. It looked great compared to the horrid public domain copies available on DVD.

I've never seen He Who Must Die.

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Postby Big Magilla » Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:11 pm

Penelope wrote:Thanks for the reminders; One Way Passage has been on my list of Most Want to See But Not Yet Available on DVD for years; I haven't seen The Gorgeous Hussy, but I thought it was about the Margaret Eaton scandal in Jackson's first term? I've also long wanted to see The Key, partly because Jan de Hartog's novel has an interesting plot: a good-time girl passes her housekey from soldier to soldier during WWII, giving them a good time before they head off to the front.

I may be a bit hazy on the relationship between Andrew Jackson and Peggy O'Neal Eaton as it's been a long time since I've seen The Gorgeous Hussy. I could be wrong that she was his cousin and acted as hostess at for him at the White House, but not the fact that Beulah Bondi as Rachel Jackson dies early on to make way for Crawford.

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Postby dws1982 » Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:10 pm

Mister Tee wrote:If you have access to the TCM schedule, do you know if Outcast of the Islands is upcoming? I thought I'd heard a report to that effect a while back; it's one Carol Reed film I've always been unable to track down.

August 22, 8 PM.

Has anyone seen Anthony Mann's Reign of Terror (aka Black Book) off of TCM? I passed up on the chance to record it the other day because I had it coming from Netflix, only to put the disc in and find out that it looked worse than a 10th generation VHS. It was truly unwatchable. I'd hope and imagine that TCM might have got their hands on a better print than that, because that was probably the single worst DVD I've ever seen.

Also, has anyone ever watched Jules Dassin's He Who Must Die? I'm not a huge fan of Dassin based on what I've seen, but I've really been wanting to see that for awhile, given that it's based on one of my five or so favorite novels ever (Kazantzakis's Christ Recrucified, aka The Greek Passion.). MGM HD apparently aired it earlier this month, but DirecTV took it out of the regular package, so I don't have it anymore. But if it's worthy and if I can find that MGM HD is going to air it again in a few months, I might see about getting it added again so I can DVR it. (When I had it, MGM HD actually showed some pretty good, and pretty rare films, usually in pristine prints, although not all were true HD.)




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