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May 08, 2011

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Cinema-fanatic

wonderfully vivid account of the festival! oh I miss it so much!

Carley

Why, oh why, didn't I meet you over this deliriously wonderful weekend? You actually GET Musso and Frank's! You know exactly what LA is really about! You use words like "tuchus"!! Fabulous recap--- best of its kind. Massive kudos, mate! :)

prole

that photo up top has so much yow goin' on that i wet ums.

Bill W

Making my first visit to LA this summer, so thanks for the old bar tipsheet.

DG

Liked this article & all the comedy/showbiz esoterica. Just one question: how was there an "appearance" by Gower Champion? Do you mean on screen? He died 30 years ago.

Kliph

Thanks for the catch, DG. Marge Champion. Marge Champion.

jb

I am but a simple farm boy from Wisconsin who spent a single day in Los Angeles several years ago on the way up to Santa Barbara, and I have been dying to get back there ever since. Even more so now. Great stuff, Kliph.

MarcH

Alas I probably stood in line with you, and never knew you were the guy who would go on to write the best recap of the festival ever. Next year I must venture further from the insulation of the festival. (ps..I was at Gold Diggers of 1933, but I was not the Kato Kaelin lookalike. I WAS, however, just behind the gaggle of gay boys who got up and left after "Pettin in The Park," abandoning the film just before it gets into a bitchy, goddigging groove they would have adored. Thier loss.). Uh...I too heard the Mickey Rooney rumors. Word really got around.

Donna Lethal

Well done, Kliph! You know my utter hatred of Rooney...ugh. Next time I'll show you some of the more unsavory sites.

james

http://www.myspace.com/bones

MrFab

American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theater does this kinda thing all year round, actually. Not just the mainstream stars the TCM fest was presenting, but also obscure B-movie filmmakers and actors that an esotericist like you would appreciate. Just think, Kliph, if you lived here...(Oh, and Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater also put on great shows as well, but not as many appearances/Q&As by stars/filmmakers)

"movies, burritos, burgers and booze." BINGO!

Vic

I was in a bad mood until I read this today. Thanks. I was just watching "Night at the Museum" and there's that scene with the old guards and Mickey Rooney is the extra mean one...is that metacommentary?

Listener Greg G.

Thanks for a tremendously entertaining article.

Scott

Great piece- thanks for giving us Angelenos some love.
PS- next time you're here, make sure to hit some of Jonathan Gold's Thai Town recommendations!

Ms. Raven

Re: Night Flight heckler. Two jerks. One with a camera climbing over seats and all over peoples' feet and one who wanted to have jerk # 1 sit down so he could see. Why jerk # 2 couldn't have just ASKED J# 1 to sit down, well, they were jerks! Ms. Barrymore was fab amd I liked the movie!

Michael Powers

I encountered one of the Nicholas Brothers at a bookstore appearance back in the late '90s but I don't remember which one it was; I keep thinking it was Harold but I don't know and it doesn't help that he signed the flyer or whatever it was that he happened to be signing after the presentation as "Nicholas Brothers," which still amazes me. Sadly but predictably, the man who went leaping down those stairs and landing on his knees was hobbling around on sticks.

Mickey Rooney is another curious case. Even kind Mark Evanier eviscerates him but god, he IS ninety years old and perhaps should also be accorded some slack for his uniquely long and important career, not to mention that there was no better actor working in the sound era. Rooney was literally second to none in astonishing talent despite the saccharine Andy Hardy movies for which I think he's mainly remembered today, unfortunately. If anyone doesn't believe me, have a look at Frankenheimer's "The Comedian," a electrifyingly bravura performance rendered LIVE at the height of the television anthology period in the '50s. He shouldn't be held accountable as if he were a fully cognizant adult at his age, it's like going into a nursing home and criticizing the behavior of the inhabitants. We'll all grow old if we're lucky enough to do so and we certainly hope that we won't be hated and despised for our behavior when we're obviously no longer 100% ourselves. And now that Jackie Cooper's kicked the bucket, there's no one left in Rooney's career longevity league, not even Robert Blake goes back that far.

Brilliantly entertaining writer/director Larry Cohen does the trailer (or "previews," a term I grew up with and much prefer) for "Spartacus" on the "Trailers From Hell" website and discusses Kirk Douglas' fury at Stanley Kubrick when Kubrick eagerly attempted to snatch Dalton Trumbo's screenplay credit. Afterward, Douglas would refer to Kubrick as a "talented shit." The best scenes in the movie, the ones with Peter Ustinov, were shot by Anthony Mann before he left the production. It's no wonder Kubrick would often not mention directing that film.

Michael Powers

I think you're right about "The Mummy," and it's basically an uncredited remake of "Dracula" with Karloff dropped into Lugosi's part so most viewers wouldn't realize it. It's a great childhood favorite of Gore Vidal's, though, which goes to show that timing is important. You just ache when you see it that you don't get to behold that wondrously meticulous full mummy costume for more than a few moments, a shortcoming remedied after a fashion by the grossly inferior sequels.

"The Mummy" was directed by Karl Freund, the cinematographer on Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" and Desi Arnaz's television series "I Love Lucy," making it no wonder why "The Mummy" shimmered and sparkled like a work of fine art. Freund has as much to do with the longevity in syndication of "I Love Lucy" as Lucille Ball or William Frawley. You can't **not** stop at that beautifully photographed show as you channel surf by.

I really enjoy Karloff, by the way, but given a straight choice between Karloff and Lugosi, I'm one who chooses Lugosi every time: he put an energy into all his work that guaranteed that no matter how awful the film itself might be, Lugosi would bring something to entertain the audience.

Michael Powers

And Kliph, I had no idea that you were a devotee of the Universal horror films. I'm the same way but you've hardly written about them. I'm glad to hear it. I guess "Frankenstein" is the best of Universal horror's talkie era and in the case of that one particular movie, it's somehow creepier and more powerful that there was no musical soundtrack whatsoever. Made it more realistic and intense, which decidedly didn't work with "The Mummy."

The "Frankenstein" leading lady, Mae Clarke, was also the woman James Cagney hit in the face with a grapefruit. She had one of the most iconic years in 1930 of any actress ever but went into a steep decline within the next few years for some reason. Her part was recast with the breath-taking Valerie Hobson for "Bride of Frankenstein," a movie I love but that doesn't have the same shock value and creativity evident simply from being first. Not to mention that it was an aesthetic mistake to singe the hair off the creature, Karloff was somehow a lot more fun to watch with a full head of hair.

elizabeth

Kliph - when Johnny Grant dies, I hope you move here and become the new honorary Mayor of Hollywood.

Kliph

Thank you for all the fine words everyone. if i could get a working visa in order (which would constitute a professional job offer of note in america before i could even apply), i would move from Canada to Los Angeles in a heart beat.

Michael Powers

Forget about L.A., Kliph: wait 'til you get a load of New York!

Kliph

Well, i can't legally live in either and love both. Need a 'get out of Canada free' card.

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