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James Dean touched us, though he never had the chance to do many films...I wonder what he would have been capable of, had he lived?






REBECCA - Joan Fontaine and Judith Anderson








Since we're doing 'Rogers' people, here's a cute compilation of my favourite entertainer, Ginger!








My dear, sweet Mommie, doing her Top Hat shtick!















Thank you, Jan's Graphics!



Subject: Hey one and all!


Author:
Miss Julie
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Date Posted: 14:02:48 07/15/06 Sat

I haven't posted in awhile...but I haven't forgotten! KEWL about all the new emoticons -- I agree Judi! I hope I can get away with using the "innocent" one...LOL! It was nice to spend a few hours watching Liz Taylor the other day. She's always been one of my faves. I love her in The Last Time I saw Paris and of course, Cat On A Hot...(BUT wasn't Paul Newman his handsomest in that film?), A Place In The Sun, etc...too many to mention. I didn't care much for Who's Afraid Of VW...too dark and too much yelling.

It's been 1 week since being back from my summer vake. Went to the lake in southern BC and man, it was HOT, I mean baking HOT! Only to come home to the same thing! LOL! Where's a lake when you need one!

Tell me, are you all having a great summer???

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Subject: Wild America..


Author:
Judi
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Date Posted: 15:37:05 08/10/06 Thu

OK, so now we have a resident HAWK, to go with the mommie & baby bunnies!!! it sat on the fence, so huge i thought it was an owl at first...sat and stared fixedly at my garden! i imagined it had a knife and fork in each talon, and was looking forward to a juicy little bun for breakfast. Needless to say, Laura and Diana chased it down to the field, but somehow the bunnies knew, and stayed hidden all day. Wow, l'd thought of the fox threat (saw a pretty red one other night in the headlights...i spoke to it for a time, and it appeared very curious about me, but then ducked away) but hadn't thought that this little ball of fur with the big eye, might be swept up in a violent drama. Sorry, i dont mean to be gross, but that hawk made an impression on me....what a presence it had! Did someone say movies???

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Subject: Straight-to-video Movies


Author:
Conrad
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Date Posted: 23:42:50 08/04/06 Fri

I don't think we've ever discussed straight-to-movies before. Since the video home entertainment revolution began back in the early 1980s, movie producers were quick to utilize this new market for films made strictly for home entertainment. Over the years, many films that have never seen theatrical release have been successful through the video market.

I believe anyone who's raised children through the 1980s and 1990s (as my lovely Wife and I have) are well familiar with straight-to-video releases. I'm sure that family films have been the most lucrative market for video-only productions. No company has been more shrewd than Disney in tapping this vein. Since the 1980s they've released numerous video-only productions, mostly sequels to their theatrical films: "Pocahantis II: Journey to a New World" "The Lion King 2," "Tarzan II," "Tarzan and Jane," etc. Most recently Disney has released sequels to their older films. They just brought out a "Bambi 2" and earlier did a video-only sequel to "Lady and the Tramp." One recent Disney staple, "Air Bud" from 1997, spawned a host of video only sequels, and there's yet another in production: "Air Buddies."

The all-time non-Disney cartoon champ far as sequels go must be "The Land Before Time," which has had no less than ten video sequels!

I should mention that these video sequels tend to get cheaper and cheaper looking the longer the series continues. A contrast to this was the "Casper the Ghost" series of films in the late 1990s, which actually got better with each movie. Hilary Duff, TV's Lizzie McGuire, got her start in what's possibly the best of the series, "Casper Meets Wendy," (1997) playing Wendy the Witch. This was one straight-to-video that even merited bilboard ads and ads on buses saying "Coming to a Video Store Near You!"

Horror films probably come in second far as video only popularity goes. The "Leprecaun" series, about a killer leprecaun, has been churning out sequel after sequel since the first movie premiered in 1993. There are some companies now that churn out horror productions for nothing but the video market. (Most of them very deplorable.)

Some video movies are based on cartoon characters. There's been a couple of "Richie Rich" films and "Dennis the Menace" videos.

How about you folks? What video only movies have you seen?

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Subject: News for Kimmie about The Man


Author:
Conrad
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Date Posted: 07:27:23 08/11/06 Fri

Yesterday I saw on RealPlayer a trailer for a new movie starring Adrien Brody, and I knew Kimmie would want to know about it. It's called "Hollywoodland" and features Brody as a detective looking into the suicide of George Reeves, the actor who portrayed Superman on television. (Ben Affleck plays Reeves.) Apparently the movie questions whether Reeves killed himself or was murdered. I don't know when the film will be released to theaters.

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Subject: Lets see if this works!!


Author:
Angela
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Date Posted: 15:27:26 05/29/06 Mon

Hoping this works, here is a little video that I put together. It is a clip from Swing Time with Fred and Ginger with a little more of a modern song synchronized to it! Fingers crossed!!!!



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Subject: The Confession!


Author:
Judi
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Date Posted: 23:51:16 08/05/06 Sat

OK, it's late, so i'll just write a bit about this great film...Dad and i really enjoyed it the other night. A young Music student is wooed by an elegant Basil Rathbone (Luv those long-nosed men!) She feels he is becoming somewhat obsessed, but goes out to a rather tawdry night club with him anyway. Then something strange happens....the cocktail singer spots them, and swoons into a group of people, and you wonder why? As the young woman and Basil hasten up the stairs to leave the place, the semi-recovered peroxided singer raises a gun, and shoots Basil...and he falls to the floor. The rest of the movie is the 'confession' by that murderer, of how she came to know Basil, and why she shot him. it's a compelling story, but if i start to tell it, i'll give too much away. it was originally a German film, and was shot scene by scene, true to the former...and you can feel the German influence. Ang is better at symbols and metaphors than i am, but there were things, like a stairway that was maybe kind of modern metal, sort of scrollwork shapes, and it made me think of a web, a tangle. One thing i was most impressed with, was that we see a scene played out through an onlooker's eyes (ours)in one room (and so the information we gather is seen from that viewpoint) but then later in the film we are somewhat shocked to see the same scene from outside the room....and then receive the complete story! Very cool, they took a melodramatic story that might be just that, and convoluted it to create a very intriguing flick! Yeah, i loved it!

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Subject: A father and daughter story


Author:
Conrad
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Date Posted: 15:11:58 07/29/06 Sat

Thought I'd share a charming story I only learned from the Special Features and commentary track of the DVD for the 1953 "War of the Worlds." This is one of those rare family stories to come out of Hollywood that certainly bears repeating.

For those who remember the old movie, you may recall that the Martian monster only makes one appearance in the middle of the film when he comes upon Ann Robinson and Gene Barry in the broken-down farmhouse. The story behind that "monster" is more interesting than its brief scene in the film.

Apparently the studio either didn't have the money or something to get the monster suit ready for the scene. So stuntman Charles Gemora and his teenage daughter Diana (I think they said she was 13 at the time) had no choice but to build the monster suit themselves overnight at Gemora's house! They worked through the night, building it from scrap and putty. In fact, the suit's outer putty was still wet whern they brought it on the set the next morning, and threatening to fall apart at any second. Diana helped dear old dad into the make-shift costume, and behind the scenes she operated a simple hand pump that made the "arteries" of the Martian pulse and twitch.

This story has special interest to me in that my daughter Athena and I worked together when I ran a simple roamance fan magazine. From the time she was a teen she and I sold our magazine at comic book and pulp conventions and she was instrumental to me in the research and writing for my book. (We even got her picture in the Romantic Times Magazine back in 2001.) Now she's grown and starts college this year, so I've lost my "business" partner but she always supports me in anything I do. We'll never forget those wonderful years working together and it was nice to hear of a father-daughter partnership in old Hollywood.

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Subject: The Misfits


Author:
Angie
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Date Posted: 20:03:17 07/24/06 Mon

So my wonderful mailman finally delivered me a copy of one of my favorite movies ever made, The Misfits. Having watched it again (probably for the 14th time) I realized just how amazing and eerily apropos the dialogue is.

I mean throughout the whole film!! It is just so incredibly well written and so touching the way that Marilyn and Monty and Eli and yes, even Clark Gable (who I normally find somewhat unwatchable) handle their roles.

I think maybe what I find so touching about a film about 4 very tragic figures is that 3 out of 4 of the actors actually turned out to be somewhat tragic themselves.
Monroe and Gable both died not long after the film was made and Monty Clift was clearly not the chiseled, healthy youth he was at the beginning of his film career, but they are all at the height of their talent and to watch them now, knowing what these actors had achieved is both impressive and sad.





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Subject: Jerry Lewis very sick


Author:
Kimmie
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Date Posted: 05:48:45 06/18/06 Sun

He will be undergoing Angioplasty - I wondered if we could post some of our favorite Jerry movies.

Mine are You're Never Too Young and Who's Minding the Store....and that's just to name two! I think he's hilarious and enjoy his old films.

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Subject: Slight coincidence...


Author:
Judi (she just wants to try another emoticon!)
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Date Posted: 15:32:11 07/13/06 Thu

Last night on the news, they were talking about the devastating fires out West, and one town was Pioneerville or Pioneertown, l forget which, and they said that many of the Gene Autry movies were shot there. Off to make supper now!

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Subject: End of the World Movies


Author:
Conrad
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Date Posted: 20:04:58 07/05/06 Wed

Over the holiday I rented the marvelous DVD edition of the old 1953 War of the Worlds, which contained a glorious amount of special feature, including the Orson Wells 1938 radio broadcast, commentary by the movie's stars, a biography of H.G. Wells and much more.

It got me to thinking about all those "end of the world" movies that have been made through the years. This is a theme that has fascinated movie makers since at least the 1930s, and has created a fascinating sub-genre.

King of the end-of-the-world movies has to have been the late George Pal, who produced three classic films with that theme: "When Worlds Collide" (1951), "War of the Worlds" (1953) and "The Time Machine" (1960). However, he was not the first to try out this plot angle.

In 1935 "Things to Come" (a film personally supervised by H.G. Wells though directed by someone else) predicted a new world war would destroy civilization, but in time people would create a new and far superior civilization underground. This ground-breaking film would set up a host of cliches for many movies to come. It's also well known for predicting that England would be bombed by airplane attack, an idea unthinkable at the time which came true during the World War 2 blitz.

Most end-of-the-world movies don't deal so much with the destruction of the world per se (except for When Worlds Collide) as with the end of civilization. Atomic war is the normal means movie makers use for causing this. One of the most chilling of such films was a low-budget movie made in 1961, "Panic In The Year Zero" starring and directed by Ray Milland. Forgotten today, it caused a stir at the time in the way it follows an all-American family as they fight to stay alive after atom bombs are dropped. This was remade in 1970 as "No Blade of Grass," only this time we have a British family caught up in an ecological disater.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s a host of forgettable movies were made predicting the world's water supply would dry up. (Why this idea was so popular I have no idea.) These films were so terrible I can't remember the names of any of them except "Tank Girl" which at least had a sense of humor, and may have been intended as a spoof of this genre.

Any other films you can think of that belong to this category?

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Subject: l saw Lassie Come Home...


Author:
Judi
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Date Posted: 23:16:32 07/08/06 Sat

...the other night. What can i say about that one, just a great film in so many ways...and when Lassie struggles and limps to school, to meet Roddy, the tears were gushing!

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Subject: in usa store


Author:
in usa store
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Date Posted: 16:50:03 07/06/06 Thu

Thank you very much. Very informative.

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Subject: Movie Serials of Old


Author:
Conrad, author "Old School Romance"
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Date Posted: 08:08:49 06/17/06 Sat

Yesterday I came across a truly wonderful find at a local Salvation Army store--VHS tapes of the original 1944 movie serial, "Captain America." I have a substanial collection of old movie serials, and this one is pretty rare, so I was glad to get it at a rock bottom price.

For the uninitiated, movie serials were those movies shown in thearters one chapter at a time each Saturday in the days before television. Also known as "cliffhangers," because each chapter ended with the hero or heroine in some dangerous situation and the next chapter would show how they escaped just in time.

These movies were generally considered kid stuff in the old days, but they have had incredible influence on the modern day action movies. You have only to watch the Star Wars, Indiana Jones and other such films to see their influence. Indeed, last year a film was released called "Thunderbirds" which is done in the exact same mode as any serial from the 1930s, with a supervillian, his less-than-bright henchmen, clean-cut heros, beautiful heroines, constant action and simplistic dialog.

Watching the older films, you pretty much have to turn off your brains. The old serials don't make much logical sense and the dialog seldom goes beyond the level of a "Scooby Do" cartoon: "Watch out!"--"Run for it!"--"Hurry up, let's get out of here!" etc.

Typical is "Phantom Empire" which was the film that introduced the singing cowboy Gene Autry to movie audiences. Incredible as it may seem , Autry made his movie debut in this science fiction serial of 1935. He plays a rancher who's spread is built above an underground city guarded by robots!

My own personal favorite is "Radar Men From the Moon," of 1952, which for sheer lunacy can't be beat. Here we have invaders from the moon planning to take over the world with the help of brainless two bit gangsters--including a young Clayton Moore, taking a break from his "Lone Ranger" TV show. He has such a good time playing a bad guy you foget he was one of TV's top heroes at the time.

Televison pretty much finished off the movie serial, and production of them dwindled out by the nd of the 1950s. But not before Leonard Nimoy got to play a spcae alien in 1952's "Zombies of the Stratosphere."

Many of the old serials are available in DVD, most in rock bottom prices. However, there are some that are available for up to $20 or $30. I mentioned one in my post "Fraudulent Films," the original 1943 "Batman," complaining that the price was way to high. Some editions of the original "Flash Gordon" films are overpriced too, though in that case there is a cheap edition of "Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe" floating around for about $10 (if it's still out there). Shop around and you might find some bargains, but in serials let the buyer beware. I have a two-dsik set of "Radar Men From the Moon" from Alpha Video that is in fine condition and only cost me $10, while I've seen prints of the exact same film by other companies for $20.

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Subject: Brand new classic movie website!!!


Author:
Midnight Palace
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Date Posted: 21:15:31 06/18/06 Sun

Hello all,

I've just launched my website "The Midnight Palace". We focus on old movies, both classic and obscure, years ranging from 1900-1955. I'd like to invite everyone to come by!!! You can visit my site at: www.midnightpalace.com

I hope you'll also sign up on the message boards and join in the discussion! :)

Thank you!!

Gary S.

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Subject: My Dad's 90th!!!


Author:
Judi
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Date Posted: 22:04:10 06/02/06 Fri

i've been off a few days, preparing for my dad's 90th birthday party, this Sunday! He thinks that only our (large) family will be here, but i've also invited the three guys from his barbershop quartet, and also a really good sailing buddy. Dad's not doing so great (i often think that all the meds older folk are on, are responsible for many of the health issues!) and so i hope he really enjoys his day. Carolee's been helping me...she tried to post a couple of times here, but it never shows up! Maybe she's the phantom! i did see one favourite of mine, last night on TCM....a Fritz Lang film, Clash By Night (1952) Here's the TCM guide blurb..."An embittered woman seeks escape in marriage, only to fall for her husband's best friend." Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Ryan...must find out who the other man was! Anyway, i love this one, Ryan has an intensity that is disturbing, and in a lesser amount so does Stanwyck...so the aprehension sustains throughout the picture. And you've gotta feel sorry for her husband, who is not the sharpest blade...almost stupidly trusting. Tis a good one!

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Subject: Accidental Tourist!


Author:
Carolee
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Date Posted: 19:40:54 05/27/06 Sat

Judi and I watched it yet again the other night. It's always entertaining and we just love Geena Davis as "Muriel Pritchit"!! She's quite eccentric, to say the least. Hey Jude, love the pic of Marion Davies!!

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Subject: Garbo


Author:
Judi
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Date Posted: 23:23:47 06/09/06 Fri

Anyone have a favourite Garbo film? i love them all, so i can't say....but i esp. loved her as Queen Christina!

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Subject: The Search


Author:
Judi
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Date Posted: 22:47:15 06/09/06 Fri

Just wanted to say a few words about The Search, and poignant film directed by Fred Zinnemann. Such a simple story, yet it holds me transfixed, every time i see it. Set in post-war Germany, a very young Jewish boy seeks shelter with an American enlisted man (Montgomery Clift) while at the same time searching for his mom, whom he is certain is still alive. Monty plays such a compassionate role, and the little boy is so quiet and sad (yet determined) that he tugs at the heart! i hear there is a colorized version, but i think the black and white lends itself better to the bombed-out ruins, and post-war reality, than color would....but i'm B&W biased! A real feel-good, touching film.

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Subject: delivery me


Author:
delivery me
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Date Posted: 00:37:48 05/26/06 Fri

I've just been letting everything wash over me recently, but pfft. Shrug. I feel like a bunch of nothing. Whatever. Basically nothing noteworthy going on right now, but I guess it doesn't bother me.

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Subject: Ivan Tors


Author:
Conrad , author "Old School Romance"
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Date Posted: 23:34:18 06/01/06 Thu

Thinking about those old seventies "wilderness" movies last week made me remember a film and televison producer of my youth, Ivan Tors, who passed away in 1983. He was a household word in the early 1960s as the prime producer of animal films. In many ways he was the "Walt Disney" of such movies. Even if none of you remember him, you're familiar with his most famous creation: "Flipper" the dolphin, who remains a household name even if his creator's name has become obscure.

Born in Budapest Hungary, he immigrated to the USA before World War 2 and got into the movie business. In the 1950s he earned his bread and butter as the chief producer of science fiction TV shows, the best known being "Science Fiction Theater." He also prodced a few sci-fi theatrical films such as "The Magnetic Monster." But it was as the producer of the TV show "Sea Hunt" that he finally struck it rich.

After "Sea Hunt" ran its course he really hit the big time with the 1963 hit film "Flipper," and from here on would devote his talents to a series of movies staring animals, all of which, like "Flipper," were developed into TV shows: "Clarence the Cross Eyed Lion" (TV Show title "Daktari"), "Gentle Giant" ("Gentle Ben" TV show) and "Africa Texas Style" (TV show "Cowboy in Africa"). He also did numerous other animal movies that were only seen in theaters, most notably "Namu the Killer Whale." In later years he produced such TV fare fare as "Lorne Greene's
Last of the Wild" and "Salty" the seal.

It's too bad he didn't live to see the developement of the hugely popular "Animal Planet," my wife's favorite cable channel. I think it's safe to say it was because of his work in the sixties that such fare remains so popular on TV today. Anyone else remember him?

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Subject: Hope you guys dont mind....


Author:
Angie
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Date Posted: 15:28:32 06/03/06 Sat

Ok so I happen to be Fred Astaire obsessed lately I admit it!!! But he's just so fun to edit!!! I made another little video. This one is much more complicated than the other simple one that I posted, and it has really a lot of clips from different movies.
I hope that you like it.




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Subject:


Author:
Kimmie
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Date Posted: 22:10:22 05/27/06 Sat

Something else to drool over! One of my fave shots of the man.

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Subject: Wilderness movies of the 70s


Author:
Conrad
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Date Posted: 08:38:08 05/27/06 Sat

I was wondering if anybody remembers those "wilderness" movies that were briefly popular in the late 1970s? These were cheaply made films that spotlighted adventures in the great outdoors. I think producers liked them because they could reuse stock footage of animals in the wild over and over again. They basically came to an end after the TV show "Grizzly Adams" went on the air and all the cliches (and stock footage)that were used in the theatrical films were used in the TV show.

Most of these movies had the exact same plot; either a family or a "mountain man" goes off into the wilderness, and learns to live off the land. This movie fad didn't last very long, but it did produce one worthwhile film series, "The Wilderness Family," which was at least well shotin the Rocky Mountains and had some genuinely exciting scenes. There were at least three "Wilderness Family" movies made from 1975 to 1978, but I believe the third one went straight to TV because by then the fad was over in theaters. Those were the only films I can remember in this genre. Anyone rember others?

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Subject: testing......


Author:
Judi

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Date Posted: 00:35:37 05/17/06 Wed

Hope this works.....

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Subject: Creepy Kids


Author:
Conrad
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Date Posted: 08:41:22 05/19/06 Fri

The other night on the Disney Channel I saw an unusual film called "The Little Vampire" about a sweet little boy who is both friend and helper to a family of friendly vampires in Scotland. (Who of course help him overcome the school bullies and improve his self-esteem.) This got me to thinking about how often in movies little kids and/or teenagers have been portrayed as in cahoots with alien or supernatural beings.

The grandaddy of all these films appears to have been "Space Children" from 1958, which I taped off TV some years ago. A remarkably subversive film for its time, it portrayed a group of children and teens who are befriended by a glowing blob that arrived from space in a meteor. The really weird thing about it was the movie's point-of-view is completely on the side of the kids and the blob. The sequence where the kids line up in front of the cave to protect their outer space friend from both their parents and the military is both chilling and thrilling.

A couple of years later in England "Village of the Damned" came out, portraying a village where all the children are space aliens. I've seen this movie many times, and the one thing that always strikes me is that even though the children are supposed to be the "bad guys" there's no sympathy at all generated for the humans in the film. Indeed, they humans all come across as rather stodgy and unlikeable. This is especially true of veteran actor George Saunders, normally a film villian who's supposed to be the "hero" of the movie. (When John Carpenter remade this movie in the nineties he wisely cast the more sympathetic Christopher Reeve in the same role.)

The sequel, "Children of the Damned" in 1963 changed the plotline so that the alien kids were now the good guys fighting humans who want to exploit them for their various governments. (Even though the kids still act creepy and use violent methods to defend themselves.)

Of course, in Steven Spielberg's "E.T." the alien and all the kids are completely lovable, so there's no doubt in anyone's mind that kids combined with aliens equals fun. But once again there's still a subversive theme, whereby the government agents are all wrong and the kids and the aliens are all in the right. The appeal of all such films of course is showing kids empowered over the grown ups through the help of some otherworldly force, which is an idea that goes back to fairy tales.

Can you think of any other films like these?

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Subject: i'm watching Anchors Away on TCM...


Author:
Judi
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Date Posted: 19:48:43 05/20/06 Sat

Does anyone know how Gene kelly got the scar under his left cheek? Just wondering. Before this, Dad and i watched the last half of Top Hat...what a great movie!!!The white deco resort...Ginger's feathered dress..

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Subject: Bette Davis & apologies!


Author:
Judi
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Date Posted: 23:05:06 05/14/06 Sun

Well....i'm feeling somewhat neglectful in my forum writings, but that doesn't mean i haven't been watching some juicy classics, namely dear Bette! She's been TCM's star of the month, and i gladly gobbled up one after another of her earlier films. They so often air the later, more well known ones, but i found that i'm partial to the earlier Bette...and i haven't quite decided why. Perhaps they seem less formula, could that be? Anyway, it's been a busy time, here at home, so i haven't delved too deeply into anything on the forum...but, i'm so glad you 'guys' are still contributing, and i'm sure i'll find my voice again, soon! Any requests on actor images, at the top?? Oh, and Kimmie....hope your cellar's dry! Ours is...so far..!

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Subject: *~ Happy Birthday, Joseph Cotten ~*


Author:
Judi
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Date Posted: 21:12:39 05/15/06 Mon

Angela will have my hide if i dont give birthday wishes to Joe! Actually, he's growing on me, a lot! All i ever knew of him, was the conservative looking man on the aspirin ad (i liked the cute, long-haired boys, back then) Now as i see him in more and more complex roles, i see that he's not only good-looking, but an accomplished actor. He can have that edge about him, where his looks tell you he's clean-cut and a good guy, yet those restless eyes and somber expression make you think, there may be a hard heart in there! Or, he can play an all-out nice guy, too. i saw 'Walk Softly, Stranger', today, and i really enjoyed him in it. You never quite knew...how bad was he? Would he, DlD he commit murder?? And was he REALLY falling in love with the leading lady (whom i have to identify!) and was his heart really touched by the widow who took him in. His love interest was wheel chair bound, but he was also bound, by his inner demons, and the bad choices he made in life. Well Joe, i hope you approve of this (rather late!) testimony, for your special day!


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Subject: The original Beauty and the Beast (1946)


Author:
Conrad
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Date Posted: 10:55:05 02/11/06 Sat

This is a good pick for Valentine's Day viewing, especially if you enjoy unusual films. Angela our resident film student probably knows about this one already. I don't know about modern day critics, but in my day it was commonly listed as among the top 50 greatest films of all time by most critics. It's certainly the best known, and most widely seen, film by the legendary French director Jean Cocteau.

This is a very beautiful film, wonderfully shot in glorious black and white, that creates a very convincing fairy tale world. The movie is also known for its special effects, which seem extraordinary for an old movie, but were done mostly through simple stage magician trickery. I've seen a showing of this film years ago where some special effect sequences were slowed down and in slow motion you can actually see how the effects were done.

The "werewolf" type make up for the Beast is also incredible, in that it is not only lifelike, its flexibility allows for the performer to emote and show expressions to an extraordinary degree. The Beast appears not only sensitive but downright handsome.

The Disney company was obviously greatly influenced by this film for their own version of "Beauty and the Beast." The one element that the Disney people clearly took from the 1946 movie was the brutish "bad guy" who wants Belle for himself, and invades the home of the Beast in order to eliminate him. (In the Disney version he's called Gaston--in the old movie his name is Avenant.) Such a character is not it the old fairy tale.

Curiously, the "bad guy" and the Beast are both played by the same actor, Jean Marias, who also plays the Prince who the Beast turns into at the conclusion.

Many people consider the ending a disappointment; others find it charming. But it is "strange" to say the least, and was once controversial among film students.

One thing I can tell you is that the Prince doesn't measure up to expectations. Cocteau himself admitted he did this on purpose. By his own account, he figured the Beast was just so handsome and appealing a figure that it would impossible for a mere mortal to match him. So Cocteau deliberately made the Prince less handsome than the Beast. Indeed, Belle (played by Josette Day) reacts at first as if she's repulsed by the Prince, and he has to "sweet talk" her into accepting him. According to one story, at the premiere of the film someone in the audience cried out at the ending "Bring back my beautiful beast!"

I'll let you folks decide for yourself; but rest assured it is a very romantic movie, perhaps the most romantic of all the filmed fairy tales, and well worth your time. It's been on DVD since the late 1990s, and might be available under the Foreign Film sections of your vocal video stores.

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Subject: Fantasy Films of the 50s and early 60s


Author:
Conrad, author "Old School Romance"
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Date Posted: 08:50:59 05/09/06 Tue

I happen to own a number of fantasy films from the days of my youth and it suddenly occurred to me these might make a subject for a new post.

During the late 1950s and early 1960s there was a sudden upsurge in fantasy-oriented films featuring knights of old, fair damsels and hunky heroes. Most were based on fairy tales, legendary heros and mythology, and they were all in bright, beautiful color. I can't remember exactly how this came about, but I can hazard a few guesses.

For one, science-fiction had been the chief source of fantasy in films for about a decade up to 1958, and audiences may have wanted something new. For another, America was probably the most optimistic country on earth around that time and the popular tastes of that time reflected this happy-go-lucky atmosphere. Many of these films were filmed overseas, in particular the "Hercules" movies of Italy, but were extraordinarily popular in the USA.

Indeed, the heyday of these films was during the Kennedy administration, reflecting the "Camelot" atmosphere of the early sixties. And it's probably no coincidence that such films faded from theaters after the Kennedy assassination.

There were a few stars, mostly men, who were associated with such films: Steve Reeves, Kerwin Matthews and Guy Williams being the most notable. When such films went out of style, Reeves and Matthews went back into obscurity, but Williams, TV's "Zorro," went on to "Lost in Space."

Here's a list of some of the best of such films:

Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958)
Hercules (1958)
The Boy and the Pirates (1960)
Hercules in the Haunted World (1961)
The Magic Sword (1962)
Jack the Giant Killer (1962)
Captain Sinbad (1963)

A note on three of these films. "Jack the Giant Killer" was released in two different versions, one with songs and musical numbers, one without. Why this was so I don't know. The one with the songs is much better if you can find it.

"Hercules in the Haunted World" is the only one of these fantasy films to develope a cult following over the years. I beliebve it's available in a couple of different DVD editions, one with special features, deleted scenes and so on.

"The Magic Sword" has been circulating around in a dollar store edition. Some of the color isn't as good as when it was in the theaters, but it's still a worthwhile film.

Any other fantasy movies, past or present, you guys like?

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Subject: :)


Author:
Miss Julie
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Date Posted: 13:08:59 05/14/06 Sun

Couldn't let this day go by without wishing you... HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, JUDI! And to all Moms on this board. Hope you all have a nice day:)

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Subject: What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice?


Author:
Kimmie
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Date Posted: 14:41:54 05/01/06 Mon

Someone at my other movie group reminded me of this today, I was so creeped out by this movie...does anyone else remember it?

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Subject: Two Adrien Movies Arrive


Author:
Kimmie
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Date Posted: 16:38:49 04/26/06 Wed

I just got Oxygen and The Thin Red Line. Whoo hoo!

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Subject: Typecast Actors


Author:
Conrad
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Date Posted: 18:10:54 04/22/06 Sat

Some time ago I mentioned briefly in another post typecasting in Hollywood. It occurred to me that would make a good topic in itself.

Typecasting is as old as the movie industry itself. Producers have always favored having actors around who are good at certain types of roles.

Boris Karloff once said, "Getting typecast is the best thing that can happen to an actor, because it keeps him working." That may have been true for Karloff, but it was disasterous for his frequent co-star Bela Lugosi. So identified was Lugosi with "Dracula" that he could seldom get producers to hire him for anything but horror roles.

Not all typecasting is bad, however. Julie Andrews, after the double whammy of "The Sound of Music" and "Mary Poppins," has bee typecast for decades, but she's used this to build a highly successful career. Though she's done a "serious" movie from time to time, her bread-and-butter has continued to be "wholesome" roles.

If ever there was a genre that's both made careers and ruined careers through typecasting, it's science fiction. Since the 1950s, the list is endless of actors who've been stuck in si-fi roles. Among them: John Agar, Robert Clarke, John Hoyt, Grant Williams, just about every performer associated with "Star Trek," and Michael Rennie. Since "The Day the Earth Stood Still," Rennie played many roles in a long and varied career. However, he was so associated with Klaatu the Alien, that he seldom was given leading man roles unless it was in sci-fi films. (And he did a number of guest spots of sci-fi television shows where he was clearly directed to act like Klaatu.)

Today, the field that has caused numerous serious actors to become typecast is the blockbuster action film. Since the success of "Con Air," Nicholas Cage has done mostly action parts. Since "Lord of the Rings," Orlando Bloom and Viggo Mortensen have been stuck primarily in action movies, though with "Elizabethtown" Bloom has attempted to break loose from this mold.

Who are your favorite typecast actors?

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Subject: Meaningful Names


Author:
Judi
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Date Posted: 23:00:06 04/25/06 Tue

i was thinking the other day about characters' names, in books and movies, and how they often relate to the role. Willie Loman is an obvious example, as the 'low man' in Death of a Salesman. Then there is 'Out of the Fog', the second movie i was gonna write about, but never did. i really like that one, about a racketeer who terrorizes families in a small fishing town. He's played by John Garfield, oh and that character actor i think is funny/cute is in this too, Felix Breshart. (sp) At any rate, he makes plans to take a fishman's daughter away to Cuba (lda Lupino) and her father, having been beaten by Garfield and having had enough, executes a plan, along with pal (Breshart) and, well, i dont like to tell endings, BUT....the fisherman and his daughter's last name is Goodwin! Then i was watching my VHS of Accidental Tourist, one of my all-time faves, and i realize that William Hurt's character, a man cut-off from his feelings and from others, is named Macon Leary. i guess you could say he was a weary, leary man. Can anyone think of any others?

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Subject: Dear Judi,


Author:
Miss Julie
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Date Posted: 14:22:21 04/25/06 Tue

I love the "rain" gifs! B at T's is my all-time fave Audrey film. Although, the story itself is a wee bit dark...a glamorized version of a cofused and troubled call girl, you gotta love her little black dress wardrobe, big hats and big black shades:)

PS: Ahhh spring-time! One could almost smell the rain in here:)

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Subject: Great Movie on now!


Author:
Judi
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Date Posted: 20:36:04 04/24/06 Mon

---11:30....Ball of Fire, on TCM, with Stanwyck and Cooper, and strangely enough, SZ Sakall!! Real cute, Billie Wilder!

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Subject: A couple of choice ones..


Author:
Judi
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Date Posted: 21:40:32 04/18/06 Tue

i revisited a couple of good oldies, these past two days, on TCM. Monday aired They Drive By Night, a fun and sometimes angst-filled movie about long-haul truckers in the 1930's or so (was made in 1940) George Raft and Humphrey Bogart play brothers, but Bogie has a comparitively small part, compared to Raft. Basically, Raft has a dream of having a trucking business of his own, and while working towards this goal, he meets and falls in love with a waitress, Ann Sheridan (real pretty in this one!) Of course, just when it seems the guys' business is getting off the ground, and that Raft and Sheridan will marry, they #1, lose their truck, and there is an injury, and #2, (Raft) cross paths with one lda Lupino, married to a rich man (Alan Hale, who btw is pretty funny!) whom she despises, and who is also determined to win Raft's heart. She kills ole hubby, sets Raft up as her partner in a lucrative trucking business (he's set the terms..business only) yet she attempts to win him away from Sheridan...who's character is a real true-blue woman. When Raft finds out about the murder and notifies police, lda accuses him, and a court scene ensues, with a very dramatic performance from Lupino. i should add that, throughout the film it was obvious that they were making a statement about how dangerous trucking was...guys forced to go many hours without sleep, often weren't paid for the work they did, and how these trucking bosses pretty much had them over a barrel...and on the other hand showed how a company with a conscience could work. it's neat to see how things were back then, and even to see what they looked on as so modern, for instance, the electric-eye door openers had significance in the film, as they demonstrated them several times. OK, i'm not usually into so much truck/guy stuff, but there was enough romance and human condition struggle to keep me interested. Oh dear, i did it again, all written out and didn't get to the second flick...next time! Night all*

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Subject: New "King Kong" reviewed--10 stars! Super good!


Author:
Conrad
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Date Posted: 10:04:41 03/30/06 Thu

Having finally seen the new Peter Jackson "King Kong" on DVD I am going to give it my unashamed, enthusiastic approval. I have watched it twice in three days and could give it a spin on the machine over and over. This is old fashioned-style movie making at its best, only done with new technology. I can't praise it enough.

Now, you may have heard from some film critics that it's "too long' for a monster movie, but I say not at all. The film moves so quickly you don't even notice the time. While it's true the first hour is all the human story, it only seems like a half-hour. And what's so terrible about having some background put into the story? It's called having a plot. I don't know how many critics have criticized science-fiction films over the years because, quote, "the special effects are more important than the human element," endquote. So Peter Jackson goes ahead and gives his movie some plot, and lo and behold the critics still slam him for it. I say bah, humbug.

Far as the Oscar-winning special effects go, I have never, ever, seen the special effects of a film so flawlessly matched with the real actors. Not even my beloved "Star Wars" films have entegrated the reality and the effects so well. Even in those films you can generally see where the effects end and the reality begins. Not so with "Kong."

Now, on an emotional level this movie took the "Kong" story to a whole different level than before. In the older Kongs, there was always some "distance" between Kong and his girlfriend, whoever the actress might be. In the 1933 original, Fay Wray was terrified of Kong, though he was in love with her. In the 1967 Japanese film, "King Kong Escapes," B-movie actress Linda Miller and Kong have a relationship similar to master-and-pet; whenever she got in trouble, Kong rushed to the rescue. In the 1976 remake, Jessica Lange pushed the level between her and Kong toward a greater warmth and affection than before.

But in this new "Kong," there's no question that the character portrayed by Naomi Watts is genuinely in love with Kong; and I mean love with a capital L. The concluding scenes drive this point home time and again, especailly with the romantic music played over the sequences where Naomi and Kong share their last moments together. Indeed, in the DVD special features, the movie is called "a love story" by the music mixers. And the conclusion on the Empire Styate Building is heartbreaking; break out the hankies because you'll have a good cry.

About those last moments: There's a surprising scene in the new Kong where Naomi and Kong hide out in Central Park and actually go "ice skating," with Naomi laughing and giggling while Kong slides around on a frozen lake. It was a sweet and charming sequence that's unlike any in a Kong movie before. Of course it's preposterous, as surely Kong's weight would break the ice, but it was so adorable I was willing to suspend disbelief.

I have only one nit-pick here, but that has nothing to do with the movie itself. One of the ending titles says it was based on a script by Marian Cooper and Edgar Wallace. Now, mystery novelist Edgar Wallace died early in production of the original 1933 movie. His place was taken by the director's wife, Ruth Rose. She is generally credited with being the one who wrote most of the final script. Fans used to call her the "mother of Kong." In later years she even wrote a novelization of the movie that is still occasionally in print in paperback. (And many years later, was also the sole writer of "Mighty Joe Young.") Considering that the new movie uses some of the dialog from the first film, I find it odd, even appalling, that she was given no credit in this new movie.

To be fair, there's a sequence in the special features that reveals Peter Jackson owns a copy of the original Edgar Wallace script, so perhaps he only used material from there. It's hard to say.

In any case, I say this is the best DVD out there now, bar none.

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Subject: It Happens every Spring


Author:
Conrad
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Date Posted: 17:08:52 04/15/06 Sat

It was 75 degrees yesterday in Detroit, which means Spring has finally arrived in the Midwest. So thought I'd celebrate by bringing up a favorite baseball movie of mine, "It Happens Every Spring" starring Ray Milland, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture in 1949.

I doubt it is as well known today as it was in the past. Being black and white,the only place you'll see it now is on one of the old time movie channels like Turner Classic Movies, unless you find a VHS of it somewhere. (I don't know if it's on DVD.)

This movie is the prototype of all the "fantasy" sports movies that would be done through the years, from "Angels in the Outfield" to "Teen Wolf" to "Like Mike." You may know the basic plot by now: Someone finds a "magical" way for his or her sports team to constantly win games, be it magic shoes or some other device, but in the championship game this magical power is somehow withdrawn and the team has to win on its own.

In "It Happens Every Spring," nerdy professor Ray Milland accidentally invents a chemical that makes baseballs literally "jump" away from baseball bats. He joins a professional ball team as a pitcher and takes it all the way to the playoffs. At the last minute his last batch of chemicals is ruined and he's forced to win the pennant with only his own talent.

This movie is so charming, you forget that Milland is actually cheating! If you don't take it seriously, it's a very entertaining film. However, it is another one of those movies which is tied into the old pre-sixties culture. Kids today would doubtless be puzzled by a society where everyone is nice to each other, nobody swears, and people behave according to certain standards of behavior. I'm always a sucker for these kind of movies, though I know full well that it reflects an age as distant from the current society as can be. But it's still a cute and neat little movie.

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Subject: *~April~*


Author:
Judi
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Date Posted: 15:53:41 04/14/06 Fri

i hope no one minds getting drenched, in here...it's a warm rain! ;) Hope everyone has a lovely weekend, whether celebrating Easter, or the Vernal Equinox, or simply the warmer weather! i'm missing making Easter baskets for my little girl and the jellybean stealing dog, Gregory...but i got a call from New Mexico today....80 degrees and her family setting up the slippy-slide, amidst children's squeals and puppy's bark...so i can be thankful she's happy. i'm not even feeling up to doing the family thing here, so i'll probably do some reading...and messing around in the yard. Maybe squish on a 'Peep', or two! =)


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Subject: Jovan


Author:
Jovan
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Date Posted: 20:02:32 04/08/06 Sat

What would have been the course of the SS privatization debate,-especially SS-national savings-equity premium nexus, if this had been the standard all along?

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Subject: the Man in......


Author:
Kimmie
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Date Posted: 16:30:21 04/03/06 Mon

I have not slept well due to coughing and I woke last night at 3:00 a.m. to see none other than Adrien "the Man" Brody in "Bullet" an old urban gangtsa film, he has a part as an artist, brother of the main character. He's quite young , playing opposite Mickey Rourke and Tupac Shakur....and he's great even in that!

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Subject: OSCARS, OSCARS, OSCARS, People!


Author:
Judi
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Date Posted: 13:08:32 03/05/06 Sun

As you know, i didn't get out much this year, so haven't seen most of the movies....but sis, Carolee, and i are mainly watching to see the hair and dresses....and some of the hot guys....Adrien!!! =)

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Subject: Superman


Author:
Conrad
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Date Posted: 13:53:17 03/18/06 Sat

I read an AOL article regards the upcoming new "Superman" movie and thought I'd share a now-forgotten golden moment in Superman history, which I'm sure none of the younger members of this movie club have ever heard of.

In 1946, the "Superman" radio show, which up till then had been a fantasy adventure series, took an unusual turn. It started turning to realistic storylines that reflected the changeing state of American society right after World War 2. They did stories that tackled the bigotry of the past and endorsed the newer, better integrated society that was growing after the war, endorsing both racial and religous tolerance.

In one strange twist, the radio show producers even got ahold of secret passwords used by the Ku Klux Klan and revealed them during the show, creating confusion and resentment among Klan members. The Klan even threatened boycotts against the show's sponsors, to no avail.

I've heard some of these episodes, and in particular was captivated by those that dealt with veterans returning from World War 2 and the problems they faced after war. So successful was this change in format, that "Superman" shot to the top of the radio ratings in the late 1940s. Bud Collyer, who played the Man of Steel on radio, made personal appearances during this time, when the radio show won acclaim and endorsements from numerous organizatioins, such as the American Veteran's Committee, the Associated Negro Press, and the National Conference on Christians and Jews.

Pop culture in recent times has so often caused more conflict and confusion than done anything to help society. It's worth remembering the days in the past when it had a genuine social concious. And remembering how much the last movie Superman, Christopher Reeve, did for society in his later years, it goes to show that the media can be as big a force for good if people want it to be.

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Subject: classic black and white british movie


Author:
steffinTexas
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Date Posted: 09:22:01 03/23/06 Thu

Please, Please someone help me. I am trying to find the name of a black and white movie that may have been in the 1940's or 1950's. The story was of two children approx 8 years old that were friends. The boy was Catholic and the girl was Jewish. The story is about the boy and girl and their beliefs. The boy goes to church with the girl and later the girl almost drowns and he beleives that God is punishing him for going into the church with her. I can remember seeing it when I was a child and I beleive it is a British or French film. It was in English and they did have a British accent. Please email me if you have any comments or suggestions on where I might find info on this Classic movie.

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Subject: A thing for vulnerable men..


Author:
Judi
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Date Posted: 21:54:17 03/16/06 Thu

Well, it's probably no surprise that i've a weakness for a vulnerable man. (could that be why i've never found a strong man in my life?? duhhh....) Hehe, anyway, anyone have a favourite vulnerable character in a movie? Here's one of mine, from that movie, At First Sight....i have many, though..Oh, here is my man of the hour!



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Subject: Scienc-fiction movies based on books


Author:
Conrad
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Date Posted: 10:31:15 03/04/06 Sat

Not long ago I did a post on romance movies based on books, so thought we'd have some more fun, only with science fiction movies based on books this time. You might be surprised to know that the majority of better-known sci-fi films are based on books or short stories. Unlike written romance, literary science fiction has always been movie friendly, as its style lends itself to visuals.

This is not to say that sci-movies go strictly "by the book." Indeed, sci-fi authors frequently complain how movie makers change their work. However, there are normally reasons for this.

For one, in the old days movie makers lacked the means to properly portray what was described on the printed page. Best example: For the original "The Thing" (1951) they didn't have the technology to create a monster equivilent to the one in the short story: A creature that could change its shape at will, absorb human beings and assume their identioties. So they just made the monster a big, bald-headed man in a jump suit (played by James Arness). It wasn't until the 1980s that John Carpenter could produce a more accurate adaptation of the story by John Campbell.

Some changes are because the literary material isn't enugh for a two hour movie. "Total Recall" roughly follows the
Philip K. Dick short story for about the first 30 minutes; after the movie goes to Mars it becomes a whole different plot.

And frankly, some movie adaptations are better than the books. "Starship Troopers" is a vast improvement over the stodgy novel by Robert Heinlein, which often reads like a boring lecture by a college professor. (No offense meant to Heinlein fans.)

Likewise, "The Day the Earth Stood Still" follows the short story by Harry Bates fairly well, but adds the part where the alien (Michael Rennie) hides among an earthling family. This gives the plot an emotional element that gives the movie its stregth.

There are so many sci-fi films based on books and stories, I could write another book about them. (Perhaps I will!) So I'll only list the better known here; feel free to list any you know about.

1. "Buck Rogers"--Movie and TV shows were based on the book "Arnageddon 2419 A.D." by Philip Francis Nowland.

2. "Things to Come" (1936)--Perhaps the only movie supervised directly by the book's author, H.G. Wells, who was reportedly meticulous in making sure the director did it exactly the way Wells wanted it done. (This movie the grandaddy of war-destroys-civilization-people-live-underground movies.)

3. "The Thing" (both versions)--from "Who Goes There?" by John Campbell (1938)

4. "Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951)--from "Farewell to the Master" by Harry Bates (1940)

5. "When Worlds Collide" (1951)--from book by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer (1932)

6. "This Island Earth" (1955)--from novel by Raymond F. Jones (1952)

7. "Time Machine" (1960)--from 1895 novel by H.G.Wells

8 and 9. "Village of the Damned" (1960) and "Day of the Triffids" (1962)--both based on books by John Wyndham.

10. "Blade Runner" (1982)--from "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep" by Philip K. Dick (1968)

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Subject: l got a new book today.....:)


Author:
Judi
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Date Posted: 21:22:26 02/27/06 Mon

....one, Old School Romance! Conrad, i like your style of writing, like that person said, as though you're talking to an old friend. it's not only about the romance novels either, because it illustrates how certain things have changed over the years. i've read about half so far. Oh, to go back to the old romance.....

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Subject: My 2006 New Year's telephone message..


Author:
Judi
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Date Posted: 21:19:25 03/02/06 Thu

OK, this forum's as vacant as the Grand Canyon's vertigo convention....so thought i'd cheer it up with my New Years phone message. it is, sadly, based on reality. OK....ahem.....'New Years Eve is the best night of all...with Champagne and dancing..a sparkling ball....a saphire gown, shirred at the hip..and dangling diamonds on my ears, all adrip! A big, dapper dude offers his arm....oh..wait! that's the remote cause, Dick Clark is on.....We're munching on chips in our P.J.s 'n' socks and saying, "Woo hoo, pass the wine in the box.." But..who knows, in 3000 our fate we may fix...but until then, Happy, ho humm...2006!' i got some funny wrong numbers, where people made comments, one woman agreeing with my lament. Let's hope NEXT year's will have a different sentiment...=

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Subject: green text?


Author:
Judi
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Date Posted: 16:07:50 02/26/06 Sun

l love this colour, but....is it readable enough? Otherwise l'll have to go with good ole black!

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Subject: Underground


Author:
Angela Gandini
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Date Posted: 21:32:05 02/25/06 Sat



Ok so every once in a while I cant resist recommending a film, and today is one of those days. Emir Kusturica's film Underground is very, very worth seeing. It covers a long period in the history of Yugoslavia/Croatia in a very funny and touching way as it follows the story of two men, one of whom rises to power by betraying the other. Anyway without giving too much away I will just say that it won the Palme D'or in 1995 and rightly so!

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Subject: That Kiss...that kiss...


Author:
Miss Julie
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Date Posted: 15:02:25 02/25/06 Sat



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