Nehemiah Persoff – Little Bonaparte in Some Like It Hot (1959)!

On TCM Fri  2/24/17 – The Billy Wilder Essential Some Like It Hot (1959)-the great underrated character actor Nehemiah Persoff cast as mob chief Little Bonaparte opens the mob reunion (disguised as Friends of Italian Opera Lover’s meeting) with the following Wilder/I.A.L. Diamond eloquence: “Thank you, fellow opera-lovers. It’s been ten years since I elected myself president of dis organization… an’ if I say so myself, you made duh right choice. Let’s look at duh record: In duh lass fissel year we made a hundred an’ twelve million dollars before taxes… only we didn’t pay no taxes!”  You also might remember Persoff in On The Waterfront (1954) playing the cab driver/mob informant in the famous Brando/Steiger who reported the action back to bad guy John Friendly (Lee J Cobb).  Look for Nehemiah playing many diverse roles in many movies and TV.

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Marty (1955)-Valentine’s Day gift to movie lovers!

Perfect forever Valentine’s Day gift to all us movie lovers- Marty (1955) from Oscar winning team of producer Burt Lancaster, director Delbert Mann, and screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky where shy teacher Clara (Betsy Blair) who was down on her luck being taken on a Saturday night date to the Stardust Ballroom by a guy who called her a “dog”. But the reality was that Clara was caught on a date with a “rat” and that evening–she was rescued by the all-time kindest, nicest guy in the history of Cinema, Marty played by the great Oscar winning here Ernest Borgnine (“We dogs have to stick together.”)

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I Remember Mama (1948)—Mr. Hyde’s Gift!

On TCM last night 2/12/17: Legendary director George Steven’s brilliant I Remember Mama (1948)—the great Sir Cedric Hardwicke as the loving but deadbeat boarder Mr. Hyde provides to the San Francisco Norwegian immigrant Hansen family the gift of dramatic readings from classic books. He might not have paid the rent—but it was “a far better thing” (to quote the hero of Charles Dickens’ Tales of Two Cities) that he left his book collection as his final gift to the family.

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The Heiress (1949)-tutors of cruelty!

“Yes, I can be very cruel. I have been taught by masters.”-Oscar winning here screen icon Oliva de Havilland as Catherine Sloper in the William Wyler masterpiece The Heiress (1949) on TCM this morning 2/12/17 where these tutors of cruelty were played to perfection by Sir Ralph Richardson as her insensitive father Dr. Austin Sloper who was indifferent to his daughter’s self-esteem and Montgomery Clift as her fortune hunting suitor Morris Townsend. Catch Wyler’s dynamic technique of utilizing group shots (as he also does in The Best Years of our Lives) of Catherine, Dr. Sloper, and Morris all in clear focus within the frame-you will catch more details about these characters on repeated viewings.

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Bullitt (1968)- Steve McQueen works the streets of SF in tune with Lalo Schifrin!

Recently on TMC – Steve McQueen in the Oscar winner for Film Editing as cool police detective Bullitt (1968) drives his mustang around San Francisco protecting everyone against both the mob and ambitious politicians like Chalmers (brilliantly played by Robert Vaughn) while he dates the beautiful Jacqueline Bisset all in tune to the jazzy Lalo Schifrin score. But most of all Bullitt gets away with the crime of stealing a newspaper from a vending machine at Clay and Taylor

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Louis Calhern’s contrasting roles in The Asphalt Jungle (1950) and The Magnificent Yankee (1950)!

Recently  on TCM – Versatile Oscar nominated actor Louis Calhern does an extreme transformation from being the dishonorable higher class crook Alonzo D. Emmerich who cheats on his partners in crime as a well as on his wife with screen icon Marilyn Monroe in John Houston’s The Asphalt Jungle (1950) ——to the honorable Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes loyal to his wonderful wife played by the underrated Ann Harding in The Magnificent Yankee (1950) directed by John Sturges.

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Barry Lyndon (1975)-A Stanley Kubrick Oscar winning masterpiece!

Recently on TCM-one of my all time favs-The English countryside never looked better than it did in master director Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon (1975). Oscar winning here cinematography by John Alcott shows us this beautiful world to the tunes of great classical music while the very engaging off screen narrator (Michael Hordern) tells us how ugly life was there along with a lot of low down gossip about social climber Barry Lyndon (Ryan O’Neal) and Lady Lyndon (Marisa Berenson) a high English society widow.

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