In Steven Spielberg’s 1941 (1979)-When timber merchant Hollis P. Wood played by comic genius Slim Pickens is taken prisoner on a WW II Japanese sub and sees a German office on board – he reaches the brilliant conclusion that there is a conspiracy between Japan and Germany- “I knew it you guys are in cahoots with each other!”
I saw The Clock (1945) this afternoon on TCM for more than the fifth time—and was struck with:
1- The super real performance of Judy Garland as Alice-we feel like she is a personal friend…
2- The personable Robert Walker as Joe—Could this be the same actor who Hitch directed as Bruno Antony in Strangers on a Train (1951) ? Talk about casting again type!
3- The usual extraordinary support from James Gleason as milkman Al Henry and Keenan Wynn as the Drunk—never to be taken for granted.
4- The world of 1940’s NYC crowds brought back to life on MGM sets by Vincent Minnelli’s camera.
Friendly Persuasion (1956)-William Wyler’s Thanksgiving gift to us–
A very soul searching movie about a pacifist family during the difficult times of the American Civil War with lovely photography and music scoring.
Dimitri Tiomkin (seated at piano), with (left to right) director William Wyler, actor Gary Cooper, actor Walter Catlett, actor Robert Middleton and choral director Jester Hairston. Taken during the music rehearsal or recording session for “Friendly Persuasion,” circa 1955-1956.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
The Carol Burnett parody of Scarlett O’Hara’s drapery dress in GWTW was one of the funniest moments ever on TV.
On TCM Monday 11/28/16- Oscar nominated Crossfire (1947) set in post WWII DC where great director Edward Dmytryk utilizes NOIR technique (first person narrated flashbacks told with harsh lighting & shadows) and compelling psychologically driven characterizations: Robert Young as the calm pipe smoking fair cop; Oscar nominated here Gloria Grahame as Ginny, the tough understanding lady; Paul Kelly as the mysterious friendly man in Ginny’s apartment; unknown George Cooper in a strong performance as the depressed GI; also Oscar nominated here Robert Ryan brilliant as the hate monger; and my favorite Robert Mitchum as the charismatic Sgt. Keeley who has clarity about what is going on here: “the snakes are loose.”- to result in a socially conscious movie about post-traumatic stress and hate crimes. mysterious friendly man in Ginny’s apartment; unknown George Cooper in a strong performance as the depressed GI; also Oscar nominated here Robert Ryan brilliant as the hate monger: and my favorite Robert Mitchum as the charismatic Sgt. Keeley who has clarity about what is going on here: “the snakes are loose.” —to result in a socially conscious movie about post-traumatic stress and hate crimes.
Happy Thanksgiving! Hope everyone like the Morgan family in John Ford’s masterpiece How Green Was My Valley (1941) has not only the great food but the love and good feeling generated around the dinner table.
On TCM very late11/27/16-One of my favorite movies is a film called Umberto D. (1952). Some (including Martin Scorcese) cite as this film about a poor retired Italian civil servant and his dog as the high-water mark of the Italian Neo Realism cinema. It is directed by the great Vittorio De Sica who was so good that in this film he got a performance worthy in my opinion of a best supporting actor Oscar from the dog-Catch the heart breaking scene where the dog begs to supplement his best friend’s pension
In Akira Kurosawa’s brilliant High and Low (1963) based on Ed McBain’s detective novel King’s Ransom, the kidnapper errs in abducting the wrong kid. All rich kids look alike to the down and out criminal. Although his child is safe at home, the rich man who was the intended victim is obliged to pay the ransom out of humanity for another’s child. Kurosawa’s camera here contrasts the high world of the rich on a hill overlooking the low world of the criminals below. Now this is an original ironic twist to a kidnapping pulled off by a master director.
On TCM 11/24/16-Auntie Mame (1958) -Want to cheer up? See Auntie Mame’s (Rosalind Russell) funny outrageous but effective plot to prevent her nephew from marrying into the horrible Upson family. Auntie gives the bigots their comeuppance and helps her nephew to live, live, live!!
The one and only Joan Collins- who co-starred with Gregory Peck in The Bravados (1958) and gave a speech at The Autry museum in 2015 about her adventures making a Western -taking a break in front of the singing cowboy himself!