Friday, July 31, 2009

Three Came Home | Watch Online

Three Came Home (1950) is a wartime film made by Twentieth Century-Fox, based on the memoirs of the same name by writer Agnes Newton Keith. It depicts Keith's life in North Borneo in the period immediately before the Japanese invasion in 1942, and her subsequent internment and suffering, separated from her husband Harry, and with a young son to care for. Keith was initially interned at Berhala Island near Sandakan, but spent most of her captivity at Batu Lintang camp at Kuching, Sarawak.

Adapted and produced by Nunnally Johnson, directed by Jean Negulesco, the film starred Claudette Colbert in the lead role. The New York Times reviewer said, "It will shock you, disturb you, tear your heart out. But it will fill you fully with a great respect for a heroic soul."

The film is now in the public domain and so is available to watch in its entirety online at no charge

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn. | Videoclip

"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." is a line from the 1939 film Gone with the Wind starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh.

It was spoken by Gable, as Rhett Butler, in his last words to Scarlett O'Hara. It occurs at the end of the film when Scarlett asks Rhett, "Where shall I go? What shall I do?" if he leaves her. The line is memorable not only because it contains profanity (which was generally not allowed in films of that time period), but because it demonstrates that Rhett has finally given up on Scarlett and no longer cares what happens to her.

This quotation was voted the number one movie line of all time by the American Film Institute 2005.

In the novel Gone with the Wind, Rhett does not say "Frankly," but simply "My dear, I don't give a damn." The context is also different; he is speaking quietly to Scarlett in a room, not storming dramatically out of the house.

Prior to the film's release, censors objected to the use of the word "damn" in the film, a word that had been prohibited by the 1930 Motion Picture Association's Production Code that began to be enforced in July 1934. However, before 1930 the word "damn" had been relatively common in films.[2] Although legend persists that the Hays Office fined producer David O. Selznick $5,000 for using the word "damn," in fact the MPA board passed an amendment to the Production Code on November 1, 1939, a month and a half before the film's release, that forbade use of the words "hell" or "damn" except when their use "shall be essential and required for portrayal, in proper historical context, of any scene or dialogue based upon historical fact or folklore … or a quotation from a literary work, provided that no such use shall be permitted which is intrinsically objectionable or offends good taste." With that amendment, the Production Code Administration had no further objection to Rhett's closing line.

It is actually the second use of "damn" in the film. The term "damn Yankees" is heard in the parlor scene at Twelve Oaks. -Wikipedia

Favorite Gone With The Wind Character?

Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American drama romance film adapted from Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel of the same name and directed by Victor Fleming (Fleming replaced George Cukor). The epic film, set in the American South in and around the time of the Civil War, stars Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard, and Olivia de Havilland, and tells a story of the Civil War and its aftermath from a white Southern viewpoint.


Everyone has seen the movie. Not just classic movie lovers. Everyone has a favorite character. Please tell me your favorite actor or character from the cast and why they are your pick.

Comment or just tweet me @TCManiacs

Out of the Past | Its Neo-Noir Remakes

Out of the Past (originally released in Britain as Build My Gallows High) (1947) is a film noir directed by Jacques Tourneur. The movie was adapted by Daniel Mainwaring (using the pseudonym Geoffrey Homes) from his novel Build My Gallows High (also written as Homes). Uncredited revisions were made by Frank Fenton and James M. Cain. The film features Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas, and Rhonda Fleming in which a small-town gas-station owner's mysterious past catches up with him.

In 1991, Out of the Past was added to the United States National Film Registry as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

The film is considered by film historians to be a superb example of film noir, due to its convoluted, dreamlike storyline and its chiaroscuro cinematography (cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca also shot Tourneur's Cat People).

Out of the Past was remade unofficially as Città violenta (1970) with Charles Bronson and officially as Against All Odds (1984) with Jeff Bridges, and Jane Greer as the mother of her original character in Out of the Past. -Wikipedia

Monday, July 27, 2009

King Solomon's Mines | Original Movie

King Solomon's Mines is a 1937 movie, the first film adaptation of the 1885 novel by the same name by Henry Rider Haggard. It starred Paul Robeson, Cedric Hardwicke, Anna Lee, John Loder, and Roland Young. The film was produced by Gaumont British Picture Corporation, adapted by Charles Bennett (uncredited), Michael Hogan, Roland Pertwee A.R. Rawlinson (uncredited) and Ralph Spence (uncredited). It was directed by Robert Stevenson.

The 1937 film follows the original novel faithfully, except for some musical interludes deliberately added to give Paul Robeson a chance to sing. The more famous 1950 Technicolor version severely alters the tale to make Allan Quatermain into a romantic hero who falls in love with the heroine, whereas in the original film Cedric Hardwicke played him as a professorial type completely uninterested in romance. -Wikipedia

Free download of 1937 version at the Internet Archive

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Beat the Devil | Watch Free

Beat the Devil is a 1953 film directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart. It was co-authored by Huston and Truman Capote, and loosely based upon a novel of the same name by British critic Claud Cockburn, writing under the pseudonym James Helvick. It was intended by Huston as a tongue-in-cheek spoof of his earlier masterpiece, The Maltese Falcon, and of films of its genre.

The all-star cast includes Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones, Gina Lollobrigida, Robert Morley, Peter Lorre and Bernard Lee (who was to gain widespread recognition with his appearances as "M" in the James Bond movies).

This Huston opus does not easily fit into the standard set of film categories; it has variously been classified as a "thriller," a "comedy," a "drama," a "crime" and a "romance" movie. It is above all else a parody of the Film Noir style that Huston himself had pioneered and as such has developed cult status in the ensuing years.

Beat the Devil is in the public domain because of unrenewed copyright, and is freely available and distributed over the internet as seen below.
John Huston's Beat the Devil (1953)

The Terror of Tiny Town | Only Western Musical with all-dwarf cast | Free Download

The Terror of Tiny Town is a 1938 film, produced by Jed Buell and directed by Sam Newfield, and starring Billy Curtis. It is the world's only musical Western with an all-dwarf cast. The plot is about a cowboy helping out a beautiful ranch owner menaced by local thugs. Using a conventional Western story with an all dwarf cast, the filmmakers were able to showcase gags such as cowboys entering the local saloon by walking under the swinging doors, and pint-sized cowboys galloping around on Shetland ponies while roping calves. The film presents Jed Buell's Midgets. Many of them were also in the performing troupe, Singer's Midgets, and played Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz, released in 1939.

This film is in the public domain. View below:


Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Evolution of Carmen

Carmen Jones is a 1954 musical film produced and directed by Otto Preminger. An adaptation of the 1943 Broadway musical of the same name, Carmen Jones is a retelling of Georges Bizet's opera Carmen set during World War II with an all African-American cast. The film stars Harry Belafonte, Dorothy Dandridge, Pearl Bailey, Olga James, and Joe Adams, also featuring Brock Peters (his film debut), Roy Glenn, Nick Stewart, and Diahann Carroll (her film debut). Despite Miss Dandridge's singing career, she is not the Operatic Mezzo-Soprano the music calls for, and her voice was dubbed by the very young Marilyn Horne in her first high-profile job. Belafonte and Adams were also dubbed.

The film was a critical and commercial success, and proved to be a major star-making vehicle for Dorothy Dandridge, who portrayed the title character. Carmen Jones won the 1955 Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy, and was nominated for two Academy Awards. Dandridge, nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, was the first African-American so honored. The film was also entered into the 1955 Cannes Film Festival.

In 1992, Carmen Jones was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Carmen: A Hip Hopera is a 2001 musical film produced for television by MTV and directed by Robert Townsend. The film stars Beyoncé Knowles, Mos Def, Rah Digga, Wyclef Jean, Mekhi Phifer, Da Brat, Joy Bryant, Jermaine Dupri and Lil' Bow Wow. It is based upon Georges Bizet's opera, Carmen, set in Philadelphia and Los Angeles in modern times, and features a mostly original hip-hop/R&B score in place of Bizet's opera. The movie received mainly negative reviews. To date, it is the second major attempt at an African-American adaptation of the opera. -Wikipedia

These two movies as well as numerous other film adaptations were inspired by Carmen the French opéra comique by Georges Bizet. The libretto is by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on the novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée, first published in 1845, itself influenced by the narrative poem The Gypsies (1824) by Alexander Pushkin. The opera premiered at the Opéra-Comique of Paris on 3 March 1875, but its opening run was denounced by the majority of critics. -Wikipedia

The Evolution of Carmen

The Big Lift starring Montgomery Clift | Free Movie

The Big Lift is a 1950 film that was shot on location in the city of Berlin, Germany, and tells the story of two Air Force sergeants (played by Montgomery Clift and Paul Douglas) who meet and fall in love with two women in Berlin during the 1948/1949 Berlin Air Lift.
The film was directed and written by George Seaton, and was released April 26, 1950, less than one year after the Soviet blockade of Berlin was lifted and the air lift operations ceased. Because the film was shot in Berlin in 1949, it provides a unique glimpse of the post-war state of the city as it struggles to recover from the devastation wrought by World War II. Wikipedia

Filmed on location, The Big Lift is a reenactment of the Berlin airlift of 1948. Flexing their postwar muscles, the Russians blockade the Western sector, refusing to allow the Allies to ship supplies to the starving Berliners. From their headquarters at Templehof Airport, a group of courageous American flyers risk their lives to transport supplies by air. Internet Archives

Do you see Montgomery Clift in Tom Cruise?

Watching The Big Lift on TCM...for just a moment I could see Tom Cruise in Montgomery Clift's bashful upward glance and sly crooked smile.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Free Movie | Alfred Hitchcock's Rich and Strange (1931)

In case you miss TCM showing, I have posted this embed from one of my favorite websites for films in public domain...

Fred and Emily Hill (Henry Kendall, Joan Barry) are leading a boring life in London.
They receive a big inheritance by a rich relative and now they can realize all their dreams.
They leave for a cruise behaving as rich people....but this is the beginning of the end.
Richness makes they soon forget their love and family.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Producer: John Maxwell

Just for your tweeting...

Kincsem1874@TCManiacs I wish I'd seen this.
TCManiacs: TCM Now Playing | 6:00 AM Rich and Strange: London spouses inherit a fortune and take a rough cruise to the Far East. Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Go, Johnny, Go! | Videoclip & List of Songs

Go, Johnny, Go! (1959) U.S. film about Rock'N'Roll promoter Alan Freed holds a talent search to develop a new rock star, then must find the elusive, mystery contestant (Jimmy Clanton) who doesn't know he has won.

Fantastic Alan Freed movie with a galaxy of 1950s rock and roll stars! Jimmy Clanton stars as "Johnnie Melody," an unwanted teenager from an orphanage who sends a demo record to disc jockey Alan Freed and rises to rock and roll fame! Along the way he meets a cool chick (Sandy Stewart), falls in love, and gets arrested by the cops! Chuck Berry has an acting roll and also performs some of his classics. Cool record store scene but the real treat is the 1950s rock and roll music: The Flamingoes: "Jump, Children." The Cadillacs: "Jay Walker," "Please, Mr. Johnson." Harvey: "Don't Be Afraid To Love Me." Jackie Wilson: "You Better Know It." Chuck Berry: "Johnny B. Goode," "Little Queenie," "Memphis, Tennessee." Eddie Cochran: "Teenage Heaven." Ritchie Valens: "Ooh My Head." Jo-Ann Campbell: "Momma, Can I Go Out." Jimmy Clanton: "My Love Is Strong," "It Takes A Long Time," "Ship On A Stormy Sea," "Angel Face." Sandy Stewart: "Playmates." "Heavenly Father." Jimmy Clanton and Sandy Stewart: "Once Again."

Alan Freed, Jimmy Clanton, Sandy Stewart, Chuck Berry, Jackie Wilson, Ritchie Valens, The Cadillacs, Jo-Ann Campbell, The Flamingos, Harvey Fuqua, Eddie Cochran, Jimmy Cavallo and the House Rockers, Herb Vigran, Frank Wilcox, Barbara Woodell, Milton Frome, Joe Cranston, Martha Wentworth, Robert Foulk, Joe Flynn. Go Johnny Go!

Go, Johnny, Go!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Mae Clarke | Famous grapefruit in the face scene with Cagney

Mae Clarke (August 16, 1910 – April 29, 1992) was born Violet Mary Klotz in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was an American film actress. She started her career as a dancer and subsequently starred in many films for Universal Studios, including the original screen version of The Front Page (1931) and the first sound version of Frankenstein (1931) with Boris Karloff. Clarke played the role of Dr. Frankenstein's fiancee in Frankenstein, who was attacked by the Monster (Karloff) on her wedding day.

The Public Enemy, released that same year, contained one of cinema's most famous (and frequently parodied) scenes, in which James Cagney pushed a half grapefruit into Clarke's face, then went out and picked up Jean Harlow. The film was so popular that it ran 24 hours a day at a theatre in Times Square upon its initial release, and Clarke's ex-husband had the grapefruit scene timed and would frequently buy a ticket, enter the theatre to enjoy that sequence, then leave the theatre.

She may be best known for her leading role as, "Myra Deauville," in the 1931 pre-Code version of, Waterloo Bridge. In the film, she portrays a young American woman who is forced by circumstance into a life of prostitution in World War I London. Both the film and Clarke's performance were well received by the critics.

She also appeared in the modest pre-code Universal film Night World (1932), with Lew Ayres, Boris Karloff, and Hedda Hopper.

By the mid-1930s though, Clarke was no longer a leading lady and was only featured in small or bit parts through the 1960s.

Mae Clarke was featured today on TCM in three films,

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The French Lieutenant's Woman | Mise en abyme - story within a story

  1. The French Lieutenant's Woman is a 1981 film staring Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons. It was directed by Karel Reisz and adapted by playwright Harold Pinter. It is based on the novel of the same title by John Fowles.

The plot concerns the love affair between a Victorian gentleman and a woman who has been jilted by a French officer, scandalizing the "polite society" of Lyme Regis.

In the original book, the author is very much present - constantly addressing the reader directly and commenting on his characters, and on Victorian society in general, from his Twentieth-century perspective. A direct adaptation would have required a continual voice over.

Instead, the film creates the effect of the 19th Century society looked at from a 20th Century perspective by using the literary device or conceit, story within a story, in which one story is told during the action of another story. Mise en abyme is the French term for a similar literary device.

The 19th Century Victorian story is a film being shot in the present and the actors portraying the two Victorian characters having a love affair in their actual life, with the film shifting constantly between the two centuries. And though the actors are not bound by Victorian mores in their actual present-day lives, their affair still presents hard dilemmas since each is in a relationship to somebody else.

Also, instead of trying to create a literal translation of the novel's alternate endings, Pinter's screenplay adopted a more cinematic approach by having the characters' story ends one way, the actors' another.

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Who is the mysterious TCManiac?

First, I'll tell you who I am not. I am not affiliated with TCM. I am not some superbot created by software developers. I am not being paid by TCM or anyone else to dedicate my time to tweeting. I am a real flesh and blood human being. I am a real maniac for TCM. I really do keep my TV tuned to TCM 24-7. I created the TCManiacs twitter as a result of my sincere passion for watching Turner Classic Movies.

How I got started?
Well, I've been a fan of TCM since its inception. As I lay flat on my back recovering from a disabling health crisis unable to do little more than watch TV and surf the internet, I found refuge watching TCM round the clock. I soon developed an obsessive habit of keeping a browser tab open for the TCM schedule and beating Robert Osbourne's introductions to finding out facts for upcoming movies. My entire day and night became defined by the TCM line-up. At the beginning of 2009 I decided to check out twitter and lucked up on some fellow TCM fans to friend. During the 31 days Oscar I decided to dedicate a twitter just to share my TCM obsession by tweeting about every movie every day of February. I was totally overwhelmed by the number of fellow TCM maniacs that became my following. Its been a WIN WIN in everyway for me. I have had the opportunity to share fun stuff with some incredible fellow classic movie lovers and bloggers. With so many followers I became committed to maintaining the twitter schedule and finding fun stuff for upcoming TCM movies.
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