Gallery of Mastheads

Comments related to the operation of NitrateVille.
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Jim Roots

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostTue Nov 01, 2016 12:27 pm

bobfells wrote:Excellent choice for November, Mike. I prefer Gerry in DeMille's CARMEN and JOAN is a bit sluggish at times but it's importance in the religious/historical genre is profound. I understand that this film was not a big commercial success but DeMille evidently figured out the parts that worked and the parts that didn't for later reference. Regarding dancers, DeMille did get plenty of use out of Theodore Kosloff who was a ballet dancer and who choreographed C.B.'s films from this time that had dance numbers.


I agree with everything Bob says, although not with his incorrect punctuation of "its".

Jim
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Mike Gebert

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostThu Dec 01, 2016 10:42 am

Hey, when did November stop having 31 days!

Image

Anyway, happy birthday to our second centenarian still going strong of the year, Spartacus himself (no, I'm Spartacus!), Kirk Douglas. Not sure if there's that much mention of him here as he didn't get his start until after WWII, but I reviewed the blu-ray of Lust For Life a while back, and anyway, living legend he is. I think this one is from Champion, given that he's shirtless like a boxer.
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Jim Roots

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostThu Dec 01, 2016 12:01 pm

Mike Gebert wrote:Hey, when did November stop having 31 days!


It happened when they started adding the extra day in leap years. They had to take that day away from some other month, and since everybody hates November...

Always liked Kirk Douglas. Glad to see him celebrated here. I've got Paths of Glory on my list of films to watch before the end of the year.

Jim
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Frederica

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostThu Dec 01, 2016 12:05 pm

Mike Gebert wrote:Hey, when did November stop having 31 days!

Image

Anyway, happy birthday to our second centenarian still going strong of the year, Spartacus himself (no, I'm Spartacus!), Kirk Douglas. Not sure if there's that much mention of him here as he didn't get his start until after WWII, but I reviewed the blu-ray of Lust For Life a while back, and anyway, living legend he is. I think this one is from Champion, given that he's shirtless like a boxer.


He's pretty damned fabulous in The Bad and The Beautiful, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, and in Out of the Past. A worthy career and (from what I understand) a good man. Happy birthday, Mr. Douglas.
Fred
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostThu Dec 01, 2016 12:53 pm

Although he shows up clearly on my pad, on my computer, the lower resolution makes him look like a thick-necked Jimmy Cagney.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Mike Gebert

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostThu Dec 01, 2016 2:56 pm

Do you mean it's pixely? Or just not up to your retina-display standards? Try a hard refresh if it's pixely.
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boblipton

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostThu Dec 01, 2016 3:20 pm

Mike Gebert wrote:Do you mean it's pixely? Or just not up to your retina-display standards? Try a hard refresh if it's pixely.


The latter. I think, though, that the similarity at lower resolution says something about the visual typing of stars.


Bob
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Mike Gebert

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostThu Dec 01, 2016 3:44 pm

I've long had a theory that one way to become a star is to remind people of another star, somewhat updated for a new era. Pickford-Gaynor, Tom Mix-John Wayne, Errol Flynn as Fairbanks crossed with Gilbert... though Cagney-Douglas never occurred to me, it makes some sense. Douglas = Cagney + Stanislavski.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostThu Dec 01, 2016 7:04 pm

Well, I'll never be a member of the Silent Comedy Mafia, since my triumphs of identifying players involve spotting Snub Pollard in Twist Around the Clock, because he's in full make-up. In the meantime, I stumble along, thinking I see middle-aged William Bendix in Duvivier's Maman Colibri (1929) and wondering at how young Laura LaPlante looks in Vertigo -- it turned out to be Barbara Bel Geddes.

And yet, it's because of these misidentifications that I think I can spot the "types". Of course it has gotten a lot harder with HDTV and restorations from camera negatives, but give me a 4th-generation TV print, and it all becomes very vague and people start to look the same. Lower the definition on this month's banner-hero,, ignore that chin and that could be a young Jimmy Cagney about to do something despicably pre-Code.

Bob
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Rick Lanham

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostTue Dec 06, 2016 7:24 pm

Mr Douglas is always enjoyable to watch. I probably first saw him as a kid in 20,000 Leagues and liked him ever since.

It took me until today to notice those words above "Nitrateville" on this month's mashead. Well, I am going to the eye doctor soon…

Rick
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Mike Gebert

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostFri Dec 09, 2016 7:57 am

Happy birthday to Hollywood's newest centenarian.
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Mitch Farish

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostFri Dec 09, 2016 8:35 am

Yes, Happy Birthday Mr. Douglas! But why no 100th birthday tribute on TCM? I tuned in last night, half expecting that THE GLASS MENAGERIE was the 1950 adaptation, and that the schedule was wrong about showing the CBS Playhouse adaptation. I wanted to see the 1950 film because I haven't seen it in decades. I checked to find a DVD of it, but there isn't one; the Warner Archive should get the lead out. It would have been nice to see Kirk Douglas in something unusual. I don't think THE GLASS MENAGERIE has ever been on TCM, has it?
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Rick Lanham

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostFri Dec 09, 2016 12:04 pm

Mitch Farish wrote:I don't think THE GLASS MENAGERIE has ever been on TCM, has it?


I just did a search on my stash of TCM schedules, no hits on "glass menagerie" except for this month.

Rick
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Mike Gebert

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostTue Dec 27, 2016 9:47 pm

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In Memoriam, Carrie Fisher. Thread is here.
“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

PostTue Dec 27, 2016 9:52 pm

Mike, what a classy form of tribute. Bravo.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostTue Dec 27, 2016 10:22 pm

Thank you for your tribute. She was a special Hollywood person.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostTue Dec 27, 2016 11:51 pm

Excellent choice, icon on film, talented, funny, brilliant mind, great writer. Gone way too soon.
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Mike Gebert

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostSat Dec 31, 2016 11:27 pm

Image

Sad circumstances bring us the desire to honor Debbie Reynolds at the beginning of 2017, but it is fitting to honor her and her place in one of the most loved of all Hollywood films, Singin' in the Rain, the title that represents her screen immortality as surely as Star Wars does her daughter's. (Or, for that matter, her co-star Gene Kelly, never mind that he had just made a Best Picture winner the year before, which I've surely viewed 1/10th as many times as this one.) Besides her screen roles—which have other highlights, including a very solid performance in Albert Brooks' underrated Mother— she was a crusader for preserving Hollywood's treasures, and though the Hollywood museum she promoted never happened, her work preserved many artifacts and helped raise awareness for saving the objects as well as the films of our movie heritage. So here's to Debbie Reynolds—and also, let's not completely overlook him, one of the two greatest male dancing stars of Hollywood history, Gene Kelly.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostSun Jan 01, 2017 11:15 am

Good choice Mike
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostSun Jan 01, 2017 11:30 am

Beautifully said, Mike. You've paid obeisance to both Carrie and now Debbie with more than a touch of class.
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Mike Gebert

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 7:48 pm

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The news about David Shepard's condition makes me want to put up this tribute now, if there's a chance of letting him know how valuable his work has been. I thought there could be no more appropriate way to express what he's done for everyone who loves early film than to cite just a few of the titles I own thanks to his efforts to make them available, that have enriched my life as a student of film. But even so, I had to leave so much out— no DeMille whom he released so much of, no Buster Keaton, no The Lost World, no Boris Barnet, no Abel Gance, nor such oddities and wonders as House of Mystery, Bed and Sofa, Laila, Regeneration, Bardelys the Magnificent, and so on. I mean, go look at the list on his Wikipedia page, there's practically no end to it.

The fact is, David Shepard's life has not only been about preserving film history, he has been a part of film history. He worked for Kent Eastin at Blackhawk Films, eventually acquiring the library and trademark. He worked for the AFI, steering the contents of Paramount's vaults to the Library of Congress's care. He created markets for silent film around the world to make these releases possible. He has been part of festivals from Kansas to Pordenone. And not least, he has participated online with fans—and often detractors—of his releases, first at alt.movies.silent (where it amazed me that that guy whose name was on the laserdiscs I owned could actually be spoken to and he would respond), and later here. As he knows well, film history changes with what's available, and he has often brought titles back from obscurity to put them back into the mainstream of film's story.

There's an example of his knowledge that struck me here a while back when I interviewed him—he rattled off a list of French directors he considered important:

Carne, Clair, Prevert, Renoir, Feyder, Duvivier, Musso and others.


I knew the others, but Musso? My efforts to identify this figure were unsuccessful, and I finally asked him directly. It was Jeff Musso, director of a 1939 French film based on a novel by Liam O'Flaherty called The Puritan. Who knows, he remembered it so we may see it yet.

Thank you for everything, Mr. Shepard.

Titles depicted: The Kid (Chaplin), The Toll Gate (Hart), A Modern Musketeer (Fairbanks), The Italian (1915), Broken Blossoms, The Indian Tomb (1921), Capitaine Fracasse (Cavalcanti), Les Vampires (Feuillade), Conquest of the Pole (Melies), Cyrano de Bergerac (1925), Gribiche (Feyder), The Late Matthias Pascal (L'Herbier), The Childhood of Maxim Gorky (1938).
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boblipton

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 8:07 pm

....winner of the second Prix Louis Delluc. I never heard of it either until just now.

Bob
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 9:25 pm

It was a joy and honor to have him post here with us. What a regret he won't be able to do that again.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 9:33 pm

Weeps, really nice job Mike.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 10:23 pm

Yes, thanks Mike, for that lovely tribute.

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostTue Jan 31, 2017 12:21 am

Isn't it sad that it's so often too late to thank the people we want to thank most? Great tribute, Mike.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostTue Jan 31, 2017 2:58 pm

There will be so many of us who will look at that masthead with a lump in our throats during the next month. Thanks for that and also for your eloquent words, Mike, for they go a long way in summing up our deep and abiding gratitude to David Shepard.
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Mike Gebert

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostTue Jan 31, 2017 10:49 pm

David Shepard passed away this evening.
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boblipton

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostFri Feb 03, 2017 6:35 pm

I just noticed that the head shot of Dave Shepard on the banner is the same one in the Hollywood Reporter article. What's its source?

Bob
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Rick Lanham

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

PostFri Feb 03, 2017 8:41 pm

“The past is never dead. It's not even past” - Faulkner.
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