Golden Age of Hollywood Book Club discussion

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Hob Nob > the under - appreciated ...

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message 1: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
Please feel free to draw our attention to any talent you feel was unfairly eclipsed, for whatever reason. Also convey to us, who you feel turned their career around? Did they salvage themselves? Was it recognized? Are you the only one who sees greatness in some obscure star? Tell us why.


message 2: by Spencer (new)

Spencer Rich | 721 comments I think Jennifer Jones is sometimes unfairly maligned. For her to play the wide eyes innocent Bernadette and later the sassy blonde in Beat the Devil shows a lot of range.


message 3: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (last edited Sep 05, 2019 05:37AM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
Good one. I love that Truman Capote-scripted flick.

I'll contribute: Van Johnson. He started out as an annoyingly fresh-faced bobby-soxer heart-throb then went to either callow, dashing young soldier or rival love interest (roles of his early career). But then look at him in 'The Last Time I Saw Paris' or 'The Caine Mutiny'. You'd never believe he could pull of that latter role. All of a sudden he got real.

Another one might be Fred MacMurray. What a career arc he had.


message 4: by Mollie (new)

Mollie Harrison Pennock | 91 comments I second Fred MacMurray. He had incredible talent and could play both drama and comedy well. Was a nice family man, too.


message 5: by Mollie (new)

Mollie Harrison Pennock | 91 comments I'll add Raymond Burr. Not too many actors have a film career and two long-running TV shows (Perry Mason and Ironside) in a career that spans decades. Dick Van Dyke fits that category as well (Dick Van Dyke Show and Diagnosis Murder). Joan Blondell and Ann Sothern were primarily in B movies, but I feel both were just as talented as other, more prominent actresses.


message 6: by Spencer (new)

Spencer Rich | 721 comments I love Fred. He could be so nasty and still do Disney. Which reminds me--I absolutely adore Nancy Olsen.


message 7: by Spencer (new)

Spencer Rich | 721 comments Also, Ray Walston. He popped up in the craziest places.


message 8: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
Except, he shouldn't have popped up in 'Kiss Me Stupid'...


message 9: by Spencer (new)

Spencer Rich | 721 comments That's one wacky Wilder film.


message 10: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
Apparently its the most controversial release, as far as his legions of fans are concerned. People either love it or hate it, no halfway reactions...


message 11: by Joyce (new)

Joyce Reid | 11 comments Jack Carson. He's played a heel, playboy, not so smart guy and a good father and husband. Funny and slimy at the same time.


message 12: by Spencer (new)

Spencer Rich | 721 comments I love Kiss Me Stupid. I need to see it again.


message 13: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
I'm gonna come right out and say it: Millie Perkins. I thought she was swell.


message 14: by Spencer (new)

Spencer Rich | 721 comments I really like George Sanders.


message 15: by Sylvia (new)

Sylvia Resnick | 14 comments Never thought of Jack Carson as slimy. He was usually the leftover guy, but a good actor and kind of endearing, to me anyway.


message 16: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (last edited Sep 11, 2019 12:53PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
Tom Tully! Talent voice actor in radio for many years and then and a fine supporting player, on-screen as well.

You probably remember him foremost as the gravel-voiced, slovenly, wry former skipper of the USS Caine before Humphrey Bogart (Capt. Queeg) arrives with 'his way of doing things' in 'The Caine Mutiny'

But he was also in many other odd little roles. Later on in life you see him as the crafty, bearded, wheelchair-bound pawn-shop operator in the Walter Matthau thriller film, 'Charley Varrick'. Almost unrecognizable!

Tully has a western drawl that I really enjoy.


message 17: by Joyce (new)

Joyce Reid | 11 comments Sylvia wrote: "Never thought of Jack Carson as slimy. He was usually the leftover guy, but a good actor and kind of endearing, to me anyway."

2 words. Mildred Pierce


message 18: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (last edited Sep 16, 2019 10:50AM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
For sure, that's where he wrote a new chapter in the history of sliminess. The boyfriend who wouldn't take no for an answer. Ugh.

He was even rather too-snide-to-be-likeable in 'A Star is Born'.

But I agree he was wonderful and in real life, he was even married to Doris Day!


message 19: by Sylvia (new)

Sylvia Resnick | 14 comments Maybe the word slimy didn't ring for me. or maybe I go back so far as to remember Jack Carson as funny and endearing. Perhaps I am in the wrong group. He didn't get the girl but he was no slimy.


message 20: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
There's room for all viewpoints here. After all, it was only a role he performed, it wasn't any personal sliminess on his part. Doris Day wouldn't have married anyone truly slimy.

My fave Jack Carson role was 'Arsenic and Old Lace'


message 21: by Sylvia (new)

Sylvia Resnick | 14 comments I am puzzled. I just looked up both Jack Carson and and Doris Day. both were married four times but not to one another according to\ their bios. Can you recall where you read this?


message 22: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
Humm. Might be I mis-recalled. Could have been that they were just sweethearts; pettin' partners.

Not citing this as evidence, but do give a listen to the vocal duet they did along with Mel Blanc as Bugs Bunny, 'Freddie Get Ready'. A wonderful song.

By the way how the heck can anyone get married four times??


message 23: by Doubledf99.99 (new)

Doubledf99.99 | 248 comments Watched, Wicked Lady (1953), last night, and boy did Beverly Michaels put on a heck of performance. She was only in 14 films and tv shows.


message 24: by Sylvia (new)

Sylvia Resnick | 14 comments It's been done in the past quite frequenty, especially in Hollywood.
Think ZSA ZSA GABOR, ELIZABETH TAYOR. Not happening so often today as marriage is an option, not a given.


message 25: by Sylvia (new)

Sylvia Resnick | 14 comments how do I get to that duet?


message 26: by Joyce (new)

Joyce Reid | 11 comments Feliks wrote: "There's room for all viewpoints here. After all, it was only a role he performed, it wasn't any personal sliminess on his part. Doris Day wouldn't have married anyone truly slimy.

My fave Jack Car..."


I liked him in that too. He was funny.


message 27: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
Youtube has 'Freddie Get Ready'. Or, Amazon. More fun than a barrel of monkeys!


message 28: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
Omigod tonight TCM played an oddball menu.

'To Kill a Mockingbird' --fair enough but some lout standing near me at the bar spouts, "oh yea that Jimmy Stewart, he's been in a ton of movies,,,"

Think that's bad? In this same bar I've found three people who have never heard the name, 'Kurosawa'.

I'm flummoxed. One of these individuals was Japanese!

The rest of this evening's TCM fare was intriguing, Some italian flick, Criterion Collection--very, very good.


message 29: by Spencer (new)

Spencer Rich | 721 comments Watched The Mark of Zorro with Tyrone Power. I like Linda Darnell.


message 30: by Joyce (new)

Joyce Reid | 11 comments Spencer wrote: "Watched The Mark of Zorro with Tyrone Power. I like Linda Darnell."
Also in The Blood and the Sand


message 31: by Sylvia (new)

Sylvia Resnick | 14 comments Watched Dear Heart with Geraldine Page and Glen Ford, Shmaltzy but so tender and real.


message 32: by Betsy (new)

Betsy | 1836 comments From #29, I love 'Mark of Zorro'. In fact, I like most of the derring-do movies of the 30s and 40s. Speaking of underappreciated--Basil Rathbone made a terrific villain until he has his chance as Sherlock.


message 33: by Spencer (new)

Spencer Rich | 721 comments Great film.


message 34: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) | 2033 comments Claude Rains!!!! He certainly wasn't a handsome leading man type but was, in my opinion, one of the most talented actors of his time. And he was attractive in his own way Bette Davis said that he was her favorite actor with whom to co-star. That is quite a compliment since Ms. Davis didn't seem to like many people.


message 35: by Betsy (new)

Betsy | 1836 comments Glad you mentioned Claude Rains. He certainly was a talented actor. He also delivers one of my favorite lines from 'Lawrence of Arabia.' Allenby asks him if we (the British) have any ambitions in Arabia. Rains as diplomat Dryden gives a classic 3 word reply, "Difficult question, Sir' with a smirk on his face.


message 36: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) | 2033 comments Nobody smirked better than Rains. I think that was his last film..


message 37: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
Robert Bolt's screenplay...that guy came out of nowhere


message 38: by Betsy (new)

Betsy | 1836 comments Jill wrote: "Nobody smirked better than Rains. I think that was his last film.."

You could be right, but he went out big then. 'Lawrence of Arabia' is my all-time favorite film. Great acting, writing, music, directing and scenery. It had it all.


message 39: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
It's Spielberg's #1 favorite as well


message 40: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) | 2033 comments I know that this is just the opposite of the subject of this topic but I have to mention it.....the over-appreciated. And I have two that pop to mind immediately ......James Dean and Marlon Brando. Now I will hide under the desk while you all throw rocks at me!!!!


message 41: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
Hmmm...well. I'm sure some around here are now questioning your pedigree as a true 'cineaste'. I'm not, but ...well. Hmm. I just really don't know what to say.

:p Just kidding. Actually I've chosen not to deploy any threads which dwell on what might be 'over-rated' in classic cinema. This is a dread term which provokes dissent. So (except for random, one-off, comments made purely in passing), we won't be opening up this can-of-wriggly worms. It's caused furor and enmity in too many other forum groups. Our own group member, 'Wsm' crossed too far over this little line as well.


message 42: by Jill (last edited Dec 21, 2019 09:45AM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) | 2033 comments That makes sense, Feliks. Luckily this is a one-off comment so I don't feel too guilty. This is a group where we can post our opinions which may differ but we can agree to disagree without crossing the line. Is 'Wsm' still with us?


message 43: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
Yes, no guilt today. But it's true that these two terms: 'over-rated' and 'out-dated' can become incendiary even if at first they seem innocent to introduce in a chat. I've witnessed too often, the furious results.

'Wsm' withdrew voluntarily though he was welcome to stay if he only would have heeded my admonition to throttle down. I try not to 'ban' anyone from participation but in turn, a member should comply with gentle advice when issued; and not force a showdown.


message 44: by Spencer (new)

Spencer Rich | 721 comments One of the first years I was on rateyourmusic, for a couple of weeks, the mods made it where any time someone typed "overrated" it automatically changed to something else. I can't remember what the word was. Maybe "awesome." Pretty funny. And made a good point.

Anyway, I can see Brando, but I think Dean was fantastic and would have gone on to do greater things. That speech he gives in Giant where he's old and drunk is amazing. But Brando has his moments.


message 45: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
I admit I'm disappointed with how crazy Brando became in later years. But I feel his detractors go too far.

I think it was unfair for haters to imagine he was 'too lazy to learn his lines'. Even if he was tiring out and winding down on his later pictures, make allowances; rather than indemnify him as a fraud, someone who 'couldn't be bothered to learn lines'. It wasn't that way. Maybe the dyslexia, maybe not but he proved his chops too many times to be maligned like that.

When making, 'Reflections in a Golden Eye' Brando gave John Huston two utterly different readings of the classroom speech and each was so superb Huston had to deliberate long and hard before finally choosing the better one. Not too many actors ever stump John Huston, it's fair to say.


message 46: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) | 2033 comments We agree to disagree. The Huston incident is interesting though.

Back to under-appreciated. Gladys George was a fine actress but usually ended up being either a tart, a drunk, or just a burned out person. She was type cast probably because she was a little hard looking but her support in films like The Roaring Twenties with Cagney are jewels. She was quite talented. and should get more recognition for her long career.


message 47: by Spencer (new)

Spencer Rich | 721 comments Watched Sally Field receive Kennedy Center honors last night. I never knew she went to the Actor's Studio.


message 48: by Betsy (new)

Betsy | 1836 comments I'm not sure what is wrong with considering an actor or film or book over-rated. It happens and we all know it. I suppose what causes the problem is when it concerns an actor, film or book that most people honor, like or praise in whatever you choose. Since ratings and feelings are subjective, you have to expect that someone out there is not going to agree with you. I'm not a big Brando or Dean fan either for that matter.


message 49: by Feliks, Co-Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 2484 comments Mod
At the very least it suggests that people don't have individual criteria for their judgments; rather, that they are falling prey to a crowd's reaction and joining in unthinkingly. If I appreciate a movie, it's courtesy to allow that I came to that opinion of my own personal reasoning processes instead of implying I've succumbed to a mass falsehood. We're not part of a 'hive-mind' like ants or bees.


message 50: by Jill (last edited Dec 21, 2019 06:09PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) | 2033 comments But wouldn't the same thing apply to under-appreciated films? The public doesn't like it for whatever reason, so it is a mass judgement but you make the personal judgement that you do, thereby not following the crowd. Or am I misinterpreting what you said?


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