Gallery of Mastheads

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Mike Gebert

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostFri Feb 03, 2017 10:31 pm

It seems to be his official-ish headshot from the 70s or 80s? I don't know.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostSat Feb 04, 2017 1:42 pm

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Mike Gebert

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostTue Feb 28, 2017 9:42 pm

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Well, I meant to run this in January, when Children of Divorce was new, but I wound up doing memorials back to back instead. It's not from Children of Divorce but it certainly captures the vivacity that makes Clara Bow one of the best-loved stars of that era. (She's been on the masthead before, but deserves a solo appearance.) Here are some threads:

Children of Divorce
Grapevine releases Hula
Capital Punishment
Mantrap
Clara Bow box sets
Clara Bow Colorizations
Does Anybody Know What Mental Disorder Clara Bow had?
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostWed Mar 01, 2017 6:52 am

Love the gorgeous, adorable Clara. Thanks, Mike.

Jim
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radiotelefonia

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostFri Mar 03, 2017 11:32 pm

Even though this is obviously Clara Bow, for some reason it feels more like if somebody else is doing an impersonation of her.

:mrgreen:
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Mike Gebert

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostMon Mar 06, 2017 1:53 pm

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A few years ago I ran this image with different text to mark TCM's 20th anniversary— and it is telling that it was Robert Osborne, more than any of the stars in the TCM library, who naturally stood for the best movie channel ever, the learned, gentlemanly face put forward by the network to represent its seriousness, but also its welcomingness to all who love the movies of the past.

In memoriam Robert Osborne, 1932-2017.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostMon Mar 06, 2017 7:32 pm

Entirely apropos, but poor Clara can't catch a break.

R.O. struck me as a class act all the way. A real loss.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostMon Mar 06, 2017 11:34 pm

An entirely appropriate change, if a melancholy one.

Speaking of Clara Bow, it was mentioned in TCM's introduction for What Price Hollywood? (1932) that the Constance Bennett role had originally been offered to Clara Bow. It would have been a fascinating piece of casting.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostFri Mar 31, 2017 9:35 pm

Hobart Bosworth, mad at Kevin Brownlow for giving away so much of Behind the Door...

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Seriously, a long-lasting and imposing star/character actor (see Bob Fells' piece here) gets his role of a lifetime released by Flicker Alley this month. Here's the thread on Behind the Door, and there will be more about how this release happened in the next NitrateVille Radio podcast.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostSat Apr 01, 2017 4:04 am

The Eye Institute has posted at least a dozen of Bosworth's early shorts to their Youtube site.

Bob
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Mike Gebert

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostSun Apr 30, 2017 10:01 pm

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It's not the first American serial to be featured on the masthead— The Hazards of Helen made it a couple of years back— but the thread about it shows that there's a lot of enthusiasm for Daredevils of the Red Circle, newly released by Kino, with our own Precode, Michael Schlesinger, offering commentary. But as well-made as the serial is, it would be a pale thing without the sublime villainy of Charles Middleton, whose Biblical wrath signals in dozens of movies from his first word that you are in deep trouble, as Laurel and Hardy learn in The Fixer Uppers when he's the French artist who thinks they're dallying with his wife, for example.

So here's to Daredevils of the Red Circle, and also to Prisoner 39013, Ming the Merciless, the Strangler of the Swamp, and an utterly reliable player when you needed someone with country credibility to play a prosecutor (An American Tragedy, Duck Soup and many others), a train conductor (I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang), a Chinese banker (The Good Earth), Abraham Lincoln (Stand-In and others) as well as his father (Abe Lincoln in Illinois), Jefferson Davis (Virginia City), a convict boss (Gone With the Wind), a worker's leader (The Grapes of Wrath) and more. What was he in real life? "Charlie had the meanest face I'd ever seen. In real life he was the nicest, most gentle person imaginable." —William Witney
“Sentimentality is when it doesn't come off—when it does, you get a true expression of life's sorrows.” —Alain-Fournier
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostMon May 01, 2017 2:38 am

He'll always be Ming the Merciless to me.

Bob
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Mike Gebert

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostWed May 31, 2017 9:43 pm

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After a fairly masculine batch of masthead figures, I thought it was time for something more romantic but couldn't think what it would be... then I saw that there would be a Lubitsch retrospective at Film Forum in New York this month. Lubitsch himself would not represent an improvement over Middleton in the prettiness department, so then the question was... who was identified with Lubitsch as a performer? Many were people I didn't want to use again (the cast of Trouble in Paradise, which was one of the first mastheads) or use for a lesser known film of theirs (e.g., Dietrich for Angel). Who did exceptional work for Lubitsch and wasn't really that interesting under anybody else? The answer, it seemed, was clear: Jeanette MacDonald and Maurice Chevalier. Though they have one very fine film by someone else (Mamoulian's Love Me Tonight), the lineup of The Love Parade, One Hour With You and The Merry Widow certainly speaks well for Lubitsch's abilities—like he had a touch for romantic comedy or something!

This is from One Hour With You, which I tinted slightly because the print I saw, eons ago, was itself tinted gold, a rarity for early sound. Those who can't make the Film Forum series can at least see several of the MacDonald-Chevalier films in this Eclipse set.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostThu Jun 01, 2017 5:35 am

Italicize The Merry Widow.....

You could have gone with Mary Pickford in Rosita, but I guess that would fall under INFAMOUS rather than FAMOUS.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostThu Jun 01, 2017 5:55 am

I think that MacDonald's issue was she got trapped in those darned MGM operettas and Chevalier wore out his welcome by being cast in essentially the same role, over and over, at Paramount. Paramount had a habit of doing this; one writer noted that by the time Duck Soup came out, you could pay premiere prices for it.... or see any of their earlier Paramounts at the nabes in New York for a dime.

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Last edited by boblipton on Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostThu Jun 01, 2017 7:49 am

Those darned operettas were huge successes, Sweethearts was one of the biggest hits of the 30s, but they are tough sits now. The premise of Sweethearts is basically the reverse of a screwball comedy—they're really in love, gol durn it, and no strife at all. (Somehow Dorothy Parker and Alan Campbell wrote that.) You know the phrase "narrative tension"? This is its opposite.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostThu Jun 01, 2017 11:18 am

Even Laurel & Hardy's operettas were their most successful films! Fra Diavolo (1933), Babes in Toyland (1934) and The Bohemiam Girl (1936) all cleaned up at the box-office. They certainly are not considered their best films today.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostThu Jun 01, 2017 11:59 am

Mike Gebert wrote:Those darned operettas were huge successes, Sweethearts was one of the biggest hits of the 30s, but they are tough sits now. The premise of Sweethearts is basically the reverse of a screwball comedy—they're really in love, gol durn it, and no strife at all. (Somehow Dorothy Parker and Alan Campbell wrote that.) You know the phrase "narrative tension"? This is its opposite.


In their day, there were many familiar songs in these operettas, something that middle-brow audiences recognized and liked. By the 1950s even MGM had a hard time selling these repackaged shows and the songs faded with the mists of time.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostThu Jun 01, 2017 3:09 pm

In Oz Miss MacDonald and Mr. Eddy were extremely popular - and still are to those who can remember them. Even when their pictures came to television, the ratings soared. I can't think of any other team besides Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy who were as popular.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostThu Jun 01, 2017 3:39 pm

I understand that the MacDonald-Eddy operettas were very popular. Nonetheless, they seem to me to be typical of the ponderous MGM spectacle musical of the 1930s, which I don't care for. Also, after her character in the Lubitsch froth, to see her reduced to a singing trope is a real comedown.

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostFri Jun 02, 2017 5:43 pm

In the mid-1990s I performed in a community theater production of the musical Little Mary Sunshine. In case you haven’t heard of it, it’s a satire of the MacDonald-Eddy operettas first performed in 1959, when the series was still recent enough to be well remembered, fondly or otherwise, but just antique enough to be ripe for parody.

During the rehearsal process, the director invited everyone in the cast to his home for a video party: we were shown the 1935 version of Rose Marie, so we’d have a better idea of the material we were supposed to be poking fun at. By that point I’d enjoyed Miss MacDonald in most of her best Paramount flicks, but had avoided the MGM stuff, because the clips I’d seen looked pretty hokey. Rose Marie was better than I’d expected, and went over well. My fellow performers seemed to enjoy it. The ladies thought that young Jimmy Stewart was pretty cute—some of the guys too, no doubt—and whenever we laughed at something, it was usually an intentional punchline. Still, I haven’t sought out any of the other entries in the series.

For what it’s worth, our show flopped. Even though our subscriber base was mostly elderly people, they either didn’t recall the films or didn’t care to see a satire of them. The time for Little Mary Sunshine had passed.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostTue Jun 06, 2017 12:02 am

Donald Binks wrote:In Oz Miss MacDonald and Mr. Eddy were extremely popular - and still are to those who can remember them. Even when their pictures came to television, the ratings soared. I can't think of any other team besides Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy who were as popular.


Indeed - Australia seemed to have a taste for operettas in the early sound era. The Love Parade was enormously successful, and I believe it was the only market where Viennese Nights was a huge hit rather than a flop. Hollywood Diva: A Biography of Jeanette Macdonald gives a good impression of exactly how much of a phenomenon Macdonald was, before she suddenly wasn't. If she had been a jazz chanteuse or a lounge singer rather than a lyrical soprano, she'd probably have been better remembered today.

I agree that the early Eddy/Macdonald musicals have their insufferable moments, but I enjoy their later films such as Sweethearts (1937), and I Married An Angel (1938), where they seemed to be parodying their square image, and looked like they were having a much better time doing so.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostTue Jun 06, 2017 12:22 pm

Brooksie wrote:
Donald Binks wrote:In Oz Miss MacDonald and Mr. Eddy were extremely popular - and still are to those who can remember them. Even when their pictures came to television, the ratings soared. I can't think of any other team besides Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy who were as popular.


Indeed - Australia seemed to have a taste for operettas in the early sound era. The Love Parade was enormously successful, and I believe it was the only market where Viennese Nights was a huge hit rather than a flop. Hollywood Diva: A Biography of Jeanette Macdonald gives a good impression of exactly how much of a phenomenon Macdonald was, before she suddenly wasn't. If she had been a jazz chanteuse or a lounge singer rather than a lyrical soprano, she'd probably have been better remembered today.

I agree that the early Eddy/Macdonald musicals have their insufferable moments, but I enjoy their later films such as Sweethearts (1937), and I Married An Angel (1938), where they seemed to be parodying their square image, and looked like they were having a much better time doing so.


They still have at least one active fan club that even produces a print magazine. I see them advertise occasionally in Opera News.

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostThu Jun 08, 2017 7:50 pm

drednm wrote:Italicize The Merry Widow.....

You could have gone with Mary Pickford in Rosita, but I guess that would fall under INFAMOUS rather than FAMOUS.


Save ROSITA for when the MoMA restoration is finished.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostFri Jun 30, 2017 10:13 pm

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The publication of Steve Massa's Slapstick Divas on July 1 is a good occasion for putting up Mabel Normand, a major star of the teens as well as one of the earliest woman directors (and one of the only people to direct Charles Chaplin not named Charles Chaplin). I think her place in the history of comedy remains underestimated—as Steve notes in the upcoming episode of NitrateVille Radio, she was the first slapstick comedian to go into features consistently, and her series of films with Roscoe Arbuckle marked a major change from the brick-throwing, married-to-giant-gorgons way of treating women in comedies—basically as props and plot devices—and toward situation comedy in which the two leads were partners and comedy was not a zero-sum sport.

There are a number of Mabel Normand threads, but few run for more than a couple of posts; here's one about female comics in general that's interesting, however.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostSat Jul 01, 2017 6:19 am

Normand's The Extra Girl (1923) seems generally underrated. It's a particular favorite of mine.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostSat Jul 01, 2017 7:57 am

drednm wrote:Normand's The Extra Girl (1923) seems generally underrated. It's a particular favorite of mine.


It's one of my 100 Essential Silent Film Comedies (see/buy the book!)

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostSat Jul 01, 2017 7:58 am

Mike Gebert wrote:Image

The publication of Steve Massa's Slapstick Divas on July 1 is a good occasion for putting up Mabel Normand, a major star of the teens as well as one of the earliest woman directors (and one of the only people to direct Charles Chaplin not named Charles Chaplin). I think her place in the history of comedy remains underestimated—as Steve notes in the upcoming episode of NitrateVille Radio, she was the first slapstick comedian to go into features consistently, and her series of films with Roscoe Arbuckle marked a major change from the brick-throwing, married-to-giant-gorgons way of treating women in comedies—basically as props and plot devices—and toward situation comedy in which the two leads were partners and comedy was not a zero-sum sport.

There are a number of Mabel Normand threads, but few run for more than a couple of posts; here's one about female comics in general that's interesting, however.


And she's half-Canadian (Quebecoise on her father's side), so it's nice to see a half-salute to Canada on the day of our 150th birthday as a nation.

Jim
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostSat Jul 01, 2017 8:41 am

As we do every year, Jim!
“Sentimentality is when it doesn't come off—when it does, you get a true expression of life's sorrows.” —Alain-Fournier
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostSun Jul 02, 2017 4:47 pm

Beautiful picture!

Rick
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