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Thu Jan 17, 2013, 12:12 AM

TCM Schedule for Friday, January 18, 2013 -- What's On Tonight -- Laurel and Hardy

Happy birthday to Cary Grant, born Archibald Alexander Leach, on January 18, 1904, in Horfield, Bristol, England. We have a day of his earlier films, from 1936's Suzy, to 1952's Monkey Business. If you aren't familiar with Grant's films, you need to set the recorder for Gunga Din (1939), The Philadelphia Story (1940), None But The Lonely Heart (1944), and Notorious (1946). In prime time, we have an interesting selection of short films of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, shown in both English and Spanish or French language versions. And in the early morning of Saturday, TCM is showing a film that scarred my childhood -- The Bad Seed (1956), with the deliciously evil little girl Patty McCormick. Enjoy!

6:15 AM -- Suzy (1936)
A French air ace discovers that his showgirl wife's first husband is still alive.
Dir: Geo. Fitzmaurice
Cast: Jean Harlow, Franchot Tone, Cary Grant
BW-93 mins, TV-G, CC,

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Music, Original Song -- Walter Donaldson (music) and Harold Adamson (lyrics) for the song "Did I Remember".

The flying scenes for this movie were not shot by MGM. They were outtakes from Hell's Angels filmed by Howard Hughes. These outtakes cost the life of three of the WWI ace pilots as well as injury to Howard Hughes himself when he crashed flying in one of the scenes. Since only one out of every 249 feet of film shot was used in "Hell's Angels" there was more than enough left over to lease to other films like this one. It also helped offset the tremendous cost to Hughes of filming his movie.

8:00 AM -- Mr. Lucky (1943)
A gambling-ship owner is out to fleece a beautiful society woman, but falls in love.
Dir: H. C. Potter
Cast: Cary Grant, Laraine Day, Charles Bickford
BW-100 mins, TV-G, CC,

The rhyming slang used by Cary Grant's character is a form of slang in which a word is replaced by a rhyming word, typically the second word of a two-word phrase (so stairs becomes "apples and pears". The second word is then often dropped entirely ("I'm going up the apples", meaning that the association of the original word to the rhyming phrase is not obvious to the uninitiated. For example: "Sherman" for an American (Sherman tank = Yank). The exact origin of rhyming slang appears to be unclear, partly because it exists to some extent in many languages. In English, rhyming slang is strongly associated with Cockney speech from the East End of London.

10:00 AM -- None but the Lonely Heart (1944)
A young ne'er-do-well tries to get his life on track to help his ailing mother.
Dir: Clifford Odets
Cast: Cary Grant, Miss Ethel Barrymore, Ethel Barrymore
BW-113 mins, TV-PG, CC,

Won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role -- Ethel Barrymore

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role -- Cary Grant, Best Film Editing -- Roland Gross, and Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture -- C. Bakaleinikoff and Hanns Eisler

According to a 1947 "New York Times" article, Lela E. Rogers, the mother of Ginger Rogers, denounced the script at a committee hearing of HUAC (House Committee on Un-American Activities) as a "perfect example of the propaganda that Communists like to inject" and accused Clifford Odets of being a Communist. Rogers cited the line spoken by "Ernie" to his mother, "You're not going to get me to work here and squeeze pennies out of little people who are poorer than I am," as an example of Communist propaganda. Hanns Eisler, who was nominated for an Academy Award for composing the film's score, was also interrogated by HUAC and was designated as an unfriendly witness for his refusal to cooperate.

12:00 PM -- Gunga Din (1939)
Three British soldiers seek treasure during an uprising in India.
Dir: George Stevens
Cast: Cary Grant, Victor McLaglen, Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
BW-117 mins, TV-PG, CC,

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White -- Joseph H. August

Sabu was first choice to play Gunga Din; when it became clear he was unavailable, Sam Jaffe was hired in his place. In an interview years later, Jaffe (a Jewish Russian-American) was asked how he so convincingly played an Indian Hindu. Jaffe replied he kept telling himself to "Think Sabu."

2:00 PM -- The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Tabloid reporters crash a society marriage.
Dir: George Cukor
Cast: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart
BW-112 mins, TV-G, CC,

Won Oscars for Best Actor in a Leading Role -- James Stewart, and Best Writing, Screenplay -- Donald Ogden Stewart

Nominated for Oscars for Best Actress in a Leading Role -- Katharine Hepburn, Best Actress in a Supporting Role -- Ruth Hussey, Best Director -- George Cukor, and Best Picture

The film was shot in eight weeks, and required no retakes. During the scene where James Stewart hiccups when drunk, you can see Cary Grant looking down and grinning. Since the hiccup wasn't scripted, Grant was on the verge of breaking out laughing and had to compose himself quickly. James Stewart thought of hiccuping in the drunk scene himself, without telling Cary Grant. When he began hiccuping, Grant turned to Stewart saying, "Excuse me." The scene required only one take.

4:00 PM -- Notorious (1946)
A U.S. agent recruits a German expatriate to infiltrate a Nazi spy ring in Brazil.
Dir: Alfred Hitchcock
Cast: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains
BW-101 mins, TV-PG, CC,

Nominated for Oscars for Best Actor in a Supporting Role -- Claude Rains, and Best Writing, Original Screenplay -- Ben Hecht

The legendary on-again, off-again kiss between Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman was designed to skirt the Hayes Code that restricted kisses to no more than three seconds each. Both Grant and Bergman found the kissing scene quite problematic, according to Alfred Hitchcock, because of the complicated blocking that needed to be remembered in the several long takes that it took to shoot it.

6:00 PM -- Monkey Business (1952)
A scientist's search for the fountain of youth makes him and his wife regress to childhood.
Dir: Howard Hawks
Cast: Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, Charles Coburn
BW-97 mins, TV-G, CC,

Marilyn Monroe plays the character Lois Laurel. Lois Laurel is the real life daughter of comedian Stan Laurel of the comedy team Laurel & Hardy.


8:00 PM -- Chickens Come Home (1931)
A man risks his marriage to help his best friend deal with blackmailers.
Dir: James W. Horne
Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Thelma Todd
BW-30 mins, TV-G, CC,

Chickens Come Home is a three-reel sound remake of the two-reel silent, Love 'Em And Weep from 1927, which was also made at the Hal Roach Studios. Oliver Hardy (who had a bit part as a judge in the silent) plays the featured part, which was originally played by James Finlayson in the silent version. Finlayson is relegated to the small part of the butler in the sound version. Stan Laurel and Mae Busch play the same parts in both films.

8:45 PM -- Politiquerias ("Chickens Come Home", Spanish) (1931)
Spanish language versions of the short Chickens Come Home.
BW-56 mins, TV-G,

Chickens Come Home was also simultaneously produced with Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, and a Spanish speaking supporting cast and released as Politiquerías. Laurel and Hardy read their lines from cue cards on which Spanish was printed phonetically. At the time of early talkies, dubbing was not yet practical.

9:45 PM -- Blotto (1930)
Stan steals his wife's secret bottle of liquor so he can have a wild night out at the Rainbow club with Ollie.
BW-26 mins, TV-G, CC,

This is the first sound film to feature Laurel & Hardy's laughing routine, in which Stan's single giggle crescendos into hysterical laughter from both.

10:15 PM -- La Vida Nocturna ("Blotto", Spanish) (1930)
A husband lies to his wife and she gets revenge.
BW-40 mins, TV-G,

Blotto was simultaneously produced in a Spanish language version, La vida nocturna and a French language version, Une nuit extravagante with the actors speaking their own lines. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy read their lines from cue cards on which the appropriate language was printed phonetically. At the time of early talkies, dubbing was not yet practical.

11:30 PM -- Be Big! (1931)
Two married men feign illness so they can ditch their wives and attend a lodge party.
Dir: James Parrott
Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy,
BW-28 mins, TV-G, CC,

This was Anita Garvin's second appearance as the high strung bossy Mrs. Laurel. Her first time in the role had been in Blotto.

12:00 AM -- Laughing Gravy (1931)
Roommates try to hide a dog from their grouchy landlord.
BW-21 mins, TV-G, CC,

Laughing Gravy was the actual name of the little dog. It made numerous appearances in Hal Roach productions.

12:45 AM -- Les Carottiers ("Be Big!" & "Laughing Gravy", French) (1931)
French language version of the shorts Be Big! and Laughing Gravy.
BW-75 mins, TV-G,

Be Big!, along with Laughing Gravy, were simultaneously produced in Spanish language versions, and the two shorts were edited together into one continuous film Los calaveras. Laurel and Hardy read their lines from cue cards on which Spanish was written phonetically. At the time of early talkies, dubbing was not yet perfected. The same was done for a French language version, Les carottiers.

2:00 AM -- The Baby (1973)
A social worker investigates the strange Wadsworth family, with their two grown daughters and 21-year-old baby.
Dir: Ted Post
Cast: Anjanette Comer, Ruth Roman, Marianna Hill
BW-85 mins, TV-14,

It took about a year for writer Abe Polsky to convince Ted Post to direct the film; Post was reluctant to make the movie because he found the dark premise to be too negative.

3:30 AM -- The Bad Seed (1956)
A woman suspects that her perfect little girl is a ruthless killer.
Dir: Mervyn LeRoy
Cast: Gage Clarke, Jesse White, Joan Croyden
C-129 mins, TV-PG, CC,

Nominated for Oscars for Best Actress in a Leading Role -- Nancy Kelly, Best Actress in a Supporting Role -- Eileen Heckart, Best Actress in a Supporting Role -- Patty McCormack, and Best Cinematography, Black-and-White -- Harold Rosson

The book Rhoda claims to have won in Sunday School, Elsie Dinsmore, was a story with religious themes about a pious eight-year-old who, in sharp contrast to Rhoda, was obedient to her elders to an alarming point, even enduring verbal abuse from a nasty parent. It was written by Martha Finley in 1867.

FYI -- it's my birthday, too!

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Reply TCM Schedule for Friday, January 18, 2013 -- What's On Tonight -- Laurel and Hardy (Original post)
Staph Jan 2013 OP
Auggie Jan 2013 #1

Response to Staph (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:21 AM

1. Great line-up today

And happy birthday, Staph

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