On TCM 8/11/16- Both screen greats Judy Garland and Montgomery Clift as holocaust victims received Oscar nominations for their emotional show stopping roles as testifying witnesses against Nazi War criminals in the courtroom of Spencer Tracy perfectly cast as the chief Allied judge. Catch Burt Lancaster here cast against type as Ernst Janning, one of the German defendants.
John Ford’s first Cinemascope venture The Long Gray Line (1955) opens with wall to wall singing cadets, an effective demonstration of how a master director fills the 50’s widescreen with emotion- Certainly brings John Ford magic to today’s large TV HD screens! Catch this underrated masterpiece where Tyrone Power plays the Irish immigrant who became a fixture at West Point with great support from Ford regulars Maureen O’Hara, Donald Crisp, and the great Ward Bond.
On TCM 8/9/16- the much underrated second lead and character actor Bruce Bennett (star shot-putter in the 1928 Olympics and past screen Tarzan) was perfectly cast as the fellow American prospector in John Huston’s Oscar winning The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) who Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston and Tim Holt initially looked upon with suspicion as a possible claim jumper -but turning out to be a lifesaving man of integrity….. Bennett’s role as Bert Pierce in Mildred Pierce (1945) follows the same pattern as Joan Crawford divorces him and in my opinion Bert turns out to be one of the most gracious ex-husbands in movie history.
12 Jan 1932, Los Angeles, California, USA — 1/12/1932-Los Angeles, CA- Fully recovered from a broken shoulder suffered in a football game, Herman Brix, world record holder in the shot put, is seen during practice, as the Los Angeles A.C. track team prepares for the Olympic tryouts. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS
On TCM last night 8/6/16-Howard Hawk’s Red River (1948)- As the wagon train moves on in the background great actress Coleen Gray as Fen gives a great performance in the foreground with little screen time as the sincere love Thomas Dunson (John Wayne) chooses to leave behind. Coleen was also compelling as the loyal Nettie standing behind Nick Bianco (brilliantly played by Victor Mature) in Kiss of Death (1947) and in Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing (1956) Coleen also stands behind the great Sterling Hayden as ex con Johnny Clay asserting: “It is not that you were locked in. It was that I was locked out.” Was Coleen what I would dub as a “Femme Simpatico” specialist?
On TCM this afternoon 8/6/2016 – John Huston’s The Misfits (1961) – I love the performance of Eli Wallach as Guido the cowboy pilot who so touchingly misses his late wife-a very important role that enhances here the legendary performances of screen greats Thelma Ritter, Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, and Montgomery Clift—Notice how director Huston always keeps the sad sorrowful Wallach on screen!
Spencer Tracy almost always plays an upbeat guy even when faced with adverse conditions. Catch him in John Ford’s The Last Hurrah (1958) where he stands up for his friends and makes losing an election look like a victory. He also eventually makes the town in The Bad Day at Black Rock (1954) on TCM 8/11/16 see a better day and brings happy tears to Katharine Hepburn’s eyes at the end of his last movie Guess Who is Coming to Dinner (1967) as he brings an upbeat resolution to a family crisis.
On 8/2/16 Larry Storch aka Agarn wishing a very happy birthday to his friend Butch Patrick aka Eddie Munster who grew up to be a very nice man.
It is comforting to know that cool screen idol Humphrey Bogart like any one of us can sometimes have bouts of paranoid and insecurity: In the brilliant John Huston’s Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948) on TCM 8/9/16 Bogie as gold prospector Fred Dobbs flies off the handle mistrusting everybody even his trustworthy pals (Tim Holt and Oscar winning here Walter Huston) –and in The Caine Mutiny (1954)—you would think the missing strawberries were made of gold!
On TCM 8/6/16- Photo of Oscar winning here cinematographer Burnett Guffey (a believer in simple source and fill lighting) on the set of Fred Zinnemann’s masterpiece From Here to Eternity (1953) taking a light meter reading- Look at how successfully the results catch the passion and chemistry radiating between screen greats Burt Lancaster/Deborah Kerr and Montgomery Clift/Donna Reed.