6/18/14: On the Waterfront (1954)


[As Brando] I always wanted to be a film professor at a college somewhe′. “But my old man raised us 3 boys on a stinkin’ laborer′s wages. When I was 16, I hadda sneak into the Watertown Drive-In

just to be able to watch the classic movies de-ya. But I couldn′t get a job in dat place for nuthin′.” So den one day I get off-uhd a job at Da Insurance Company. OTW - HIG My Mom, OTW - Mom  she says [Eva Marie Saint] ‘Listen to me, Paulie. Take the job. No questions. Just take it.’ Worked there for 28 yee-ahs! “′N ya know what I became: A cheap, lousy, dirty, stinkin′ mug! FFFTTT! OTW - Knife Do it to him before he does it to you: That was my philosophy o′ life when I was woi-kin dere. It was like a one-way ticket to Palooka-ville! It was da love of a lousy buck. I made it more impaw-tint den da love o′ man. Conscience: That stuff can drive ya nuts! I shoulda held out for a little bit. I shoulda kept tryin′ to get work at dem drive-in dives & went to film school instead sellin′ out for the short-end money. Youse guys don′t understand. I coulda had a class. I coulda been a professor. OTW - Prof I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I was. So then about 5 years ago, they was gonna give me my walkin′ pap-uhs. So I says to myself ‘You′re getting on. You′re over 50. You know, it′s time to think about retirin′ & gettin′ another racket. Ever′body′s gotta racket.’ So now I′m retired & this racket is like my choich”, where I get to preach ′bout these classic pict-chas to you guys. Here & at UConn Wadda-berry′s OLLI Program. OTW - OLLI

[Normal] And today, we have Elia Kazan’s 1954 masterpiece, On the Waterfront, one of the best films of the decade. Retired boxer Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) is a NYC longshoreman. Waterfront - Brando His brother Charley (Rod Steiger) is the Longshoreman’s Local 374 lawyer. Waterfront - Steiger Its mobster leader, Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb), Waterfront - Cobb completely controls the Waterfront – who works…when, where, on what, for how long…EVERYTHING! Those who refuse to be “D&D (deaf & dumb”)…starve. Or worse, like Edie’s (Eva Marie Saint) Waterfront - Saint brother Joey. He even bullies Father Barry (Karl Malden) Waterfront - Karl for rallying the workers against him. John Heldabrand’s Waterfront - Heldabrand small, important role as a one-armed bum is his 1st of 2 films. His character’s name is never mentioned & the credits don’t list character names. The Grateful Dead immortalized him in their ballad Wharf Rat, Waterfront - Rat which you just can hear here ===>

<=== & where we learn his “name is August West”. 

The symbolism in the film is overwhelming: There are pigeons in coops Waterfront - Pigeon & unseen hawks; a one-armed bum & a boxer who barely uses his; a murdered man hoisted up towards the sky; fog to disguise & from which to emerge; wrought iron fences like prison bars; Waterfront - Fence rooftops of solace that are settings for evil. On the Waterfront won 8 Oscars at the 27th Academy Awards including Best Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actress (Saint) and Budd Schulberg’s Waterfront - Budd Story & Screenplay. Released 2 years after Kazan’s OTW - Kazan testimony to Sen. Joe McCarthy’s Waterfront - McCarthy puppet House Un-American Activities Committee testimony, On the Waterfront is his atonement for confirming to it 8 members of his Method Acting teacher Lee Strasberg’s Group Theatre Company as Communist sympathizers; including Strasberg’s wife Paula Waterfront - Paula who was then blacklisted (denied work). Lee (best known as Hyman Roth in The Godfather Part II) Waterfront - Roth wasnt! Some others on the Hollywood Blacklist: Edward G. Robinson; Waterfront - EGR Judy Holliday; Waterfront - Judy Gypsy Rose Lee; Waterfront - Gypsy Eddie Albert; Waterfront - Albert Burgess Meredith; Waterfront - Meredith there’s Arthur Miller, Waterfront - Miller who wrote On the Waterfront’s 1st screenplay but pulled it when the FBI & studio execs pressured him to make Friendly a Communist; John Garfield, Waterfront - Garfield for whom the role of Terry was written before he died at just 39; Leonard Bernstein, Waterfront - Bernstein who wrote the score; and Lee J. Cobb. Brando wasn’t blacklisted, but he was Strasberg’s prized protégé. Atonement! Now don’t be a Commie!: Watch the trailer below & then add the DVD of the incomparable Marlon Brando in Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront to your Netflix queue. 4 Stars!


2/8/14: Sleepless in Seattle


Today’s Blog is of…[Click here ===>  http://www.tones7.com/ringtones/919/Old_Telephone/ ]…Excuse me, readers…’Hello…Speaking….Loveless in Hartford?? Um, exactly what is a Sex Therapy Radio Chat Line and how did you get my number, Dr. Fieldstone?…I didn’t realize we have a problem…Um, slacks & a polo shirt, but what difference does that make?…I guess my favorite film I ever hosted is Leo McCarey’s “An Affair To Remember. Did you ever see it?…Ya, I kinda figured…It’s a wonderful romance from 1957 starring Cary Grant & Deborah Kerr. She’s gonna meet him at the top of the Empire State Building, only she got hit by a taxi. But he doesn’t know that so he waited & waited & waited, but she doesn’t show up.”…Yes, I’m still wearing pants! Goodbye!’ [Click here ===>  http://www.soundjay.com/phone/sounds/phone-hang-up-1.mp3 ]

SIS - PhoneSIS - HangingSIS - Affair

Sorry about that, guys. Like I was saying before we were so rudely interrupted, today’s Blog is of Nora Ephron’s 1993 romantic comedy, Sleepless in Seattle, starring Tom Hanks as Sam Baldwin and Meg Ryan as Annie Reed. Sam is a recently widowed Chicago architect, still deeply in love with his deceased wife, Maggie (Carey Lowell), Since Maggie’s death, he can’t sleep, so he decides to move to Seattle to get a fresh start. His son, Jonah (Ross Malinger), is very worried about him and calls Dr. Marsha Fieldstone’s (voiced by Caroline Aaron) national radio show, You & Your Emotions, for help. Jonah gets his Dad on the phone & his poignant description of his love for Maggie is so touching that women all over the country begin to write to the show, then later to Sam directly. One of these letters is from Annie Reed, a writer for the Baltimore Sun. It moves Jonah so, that he becomes fixated with getting them together. Rosie O’Donnell is excellent as Annie’s boss, Becky.

SIS - HanksSIS - RyanSIS - MaggieSIS - JonahSIS - FieldstoneSIS - Rosie

Ephron, who co-wrote the Oscar-nominated Original Screenplay, has a string of great films which she directed and/or wrote before she contracted leukemia & died of pneumonia in 2012 at 71, including 2 additional Original Screenplay Oscar nominations: She shared the nomination with Alice Arlen for Silkwood in 1984 at the 56th Academy Awards; and 6 years later for When Harry Met Sally…. also starring Meg Ryan. Silkwood stars Meryl Streep, who pseudo-played Ephron in her ’86 autobiographical film, Heartburn, about the demise of her marriage to Carl Bernstein (Jack Nicholson). Though the characters names are changed, the story is about Ephron & Bernstein.

SIS - SilkSIS - SallySIS - HeartSIS - Nora

Sleepless in Seattle was also nominated for Best Original Song: Marc Shaiman & Ramsey McLean’s A Wink and a Smile, sung by Harry Connick, Jr. The picture’s soundtrack is masterful. A soundtrack differs from a film score in that the score is original music written for the film & set in the background to accompany the action & set the mood. A soundtrack accompanies the film for independent or packaged sale, and consists of some or all of the music on it. These days, on CD. The first soundtrack was a 78 RPM record package of the music of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Much of Sleepless’ soundtrack is a stream of covers of great songs of yesteryear, including excellent versions of: When I Fall in Love by Celine Dion & Clive Griffin; As Time Goes By by Jimmy Durante; Bye Bye Blackbird by Joe Cocker; Over the Rainbow by Ray Charles; and Makin’ Whoopee by Dr. John & Rickie Lee Jones. So play the trailer below then add the film to your Netflix Queue, then sit back & enjoy the great music in Nora Ephron’s Sleepless in Seattle. 3 Stars!

SIS - ConnickSIS - SW&7DSIS - CelineSIS - DuranteSIS - CockerSIS - RaySIS - Dr