Monday, October 25, 2010

Amanda's Cinema Survey

Amanda of A NOODLE IN A HAYSTACK posted a fun Cinema Survey this weekend which is now making the rounds of the classic film blogosphere.

Amanda's own answers are here, and you can read more survey answers at various blogs including Sidewalk Crossings and All Good Things.

I thought I'd give the survey a whirl, and here are my answers...

1. What is your favorite movie starring William Powell and Myrna Loy, excluding all of The Thin Man films? LIBELED LADY (1936)

2. Name a screen team that appeared in only one film together but are still noteworthy for how well they complimented each other. I should think on this longer, but Cary Grant and Carole Lombard in IN NAME ONLY (1939) were a wonderful pair.

3. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers' best film together? SWING TIME (1936)

4. Your favorite actor named "Robert"? This is really hard, but I'll go with Robert Montgomery, very closely followed by Mr. Taylor and Mr. Mitchum.

5. An actor/actress who, when you see one of their movies, you always wish that someone else was in his/her role? Marlene Dietrich

6. An actor/actress that someone close to you really loves that you can't stand or vice versa? My younger daughter has not yet developed much of an appreciation for Tyrone Power. Can't figure out how that happened, but I'm hopeful her opinion will change in time!

7. An actor/actress that you both agree on completely? We both love Esther Williams!

8. Complete this sentence: Virginia O'Brien is to Ethel Merman as... This question made me laugh but I can't think how to end it, other than to say I saw each of them in person once! :)

9. What is your favorite film starring Ray Milland? Another hard one...I'll go with THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR (1942).

10. You had to have seen this one coming: what is your favorite movie of the 1960s? THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965)

11. An actor/actress that you would take out of one film and put into a different movie that was released the same year? I wish Kevin Costner had played the Alec Baldwin role in THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER (1990) instead of making DANCES WITH WOLVES (1990).

12. Who was your favorite of Robert Montgomery's leading ladies? I'll give the nod to Madge Evans for LOVERS COURAGEOUS (1932) and FUGITIVE LOVERS (1934)...

13. You think it would have been a disaster if what movie starred the actor/actress who was originally asked to star in it? It's hard for me to imagine how CAROUSEL (1956) would have turned out if Frank Sinatra had finished it, even though I love Sinatra and he was a fine actor.

14. An actor/actress who you will watch in any or almost any movie? Cary Grant

15. Your favorite Leslie Howard film and role? Haven't seen enough yet to say...I've got some recorded like THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL (1934) and INTERMEZZO (1939) so hopefully I'd be able to answer this in a few more months!

16. You have been asked to host a marathon of four Barbara Stanwyck films. Which ones do you choose? MY REPUTATION (1946), SHOPWORN (1932), REMEMBER THE NIGHT (1940), and CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT (1945). (I still have some of her best-known films ahead of me to see for the first time...)

17. What is, in your mind, the nearest to perfect comedy you have ever seen? Why? THE MORE THE MERRIER...delightful leads (Joel McCrea, Jean Arthur, Charles Coburn) and script, plus a lovely romance.

18. You will brook no criticism of what film? WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954)'s way underappreciated by too many critics and is so wrapped up in my own Christmas memories that it's disappointing to hear others putting it down -- though I usually enjoy hearing other opinions. :)

19. Who is your favorite Irish actress? Maureen O'Hara

20. Your favorite 1940s movie starring Ginger Rogers? THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR (1942) was a tough choice between this and I'LL BE SEEING YOU (1944).

21. Do you enjoy silent movies? Not problem is that I am an extremely fast reader and I get very impatient with the length of time spent on title cards. They interrupt the flow of the movie for me. If they invented a DVD feature where you could click and fast forward as soon as you read the cards I'd do better with them, but that would then mess up the musical track... I've taped a few this year and will try to be more open-minded about them!

22. What is your favorite Bette Davis film? ALL ABOUT EVE (1950)

23. Your favorite onscreen Hollywood couple? Powell & Loy

24. This one is for the girls, but, of course, the guys are welcome to answer, too: who is your favorite Hollywood costume designer? Travis Banton

25. To even things out a bit, here's something the boys will enjoy: what is your favorite tough action film? I don't know if it qualifies but the most violent film that I also love is undoubtedly THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS (1992).

26. You are currently gaining a greater appreciation for which actor(s)/actress(es)? Fred MacMurray, Robert Young, Franchot Tone, George Brent...the guys often derided in some quarters as being milquetoasts or "just" father figures actually had really interesting careers once you start sampling more of their work, which is now available to us thanks to TCM and DVDs.

27. Franchot Tone: yes or no? Yes

28. Which actors and/or actresses do you think are underrated? Robert Taylor

29. Which actors and/or actresses do you think are overrated? Marlene Dietrich

30. Favorite actor? Cary Grant

31. Favorite actress? Ginger Rogers

32. Of those listed, who is the coolest: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Steve McQueen, or Patrick Stewart? None of these are big faves, but I'll go with McQueen.

33. What is your favorite movie from each of these genres:



Film noir: LAURA (1944)


Holiday: WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954)


Thanks for a fun survey, Amanda!

If anyone would like to contribute their own answers in the comments, either here or at Amanda's original post, please do!


Blogger DKoren said...

Ack! Frank Sinatra in Carousel?? I love Frank Sinatra, but that just doesn't work in my mind.

Fun to read your answers!

8:30 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

LOL. He got as far as the movie's Maine location, but when told he had to shoot scenes twice, for two different CinemaScope versions, he walked out.

Best wishes,

9:25 AM  
Blogger Gordon Pasha said...

Laura: Enjoyed your responses. Not surprised that we are in agreement on many fronts: particularly on Tyrone Power, who was not always looked on with critical favor -- but I sense a tide turning as some in the new generation seem to have embraced him. Choosing between Mitchum and Montgomery was very difficult for me but I went with Montgomery also. Elated that you included “I’ll be Seeing You,” which gets overlooked in its own right and also as a subdued, but moving, Christmas film.

Although I am, similar to you, primarily a golden age of film person -- the directors series on Goodfellas in the summer sent me to Michael Mann, particularly his “The Last of the Mohicans.” There is something special about that film. I watched it again the other morning on one of our cable channels. It stays with me. The 1920 silent version is available on Netflix download and is very good. Speaking of which, your silent movie response interested me. I never thought about that aspect. With Netflix download I am going to go back and watch one this week with your comment in mind. I read endlessly, but not with rapidity -- so it might not be an issue for me.

I envy you your first viewing for “The Scarlet Pimpernel” (keep an eye out for the World War II spin off with Howard: ‘Pimpernel’ Smith). Best. Gerald.

6:33 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I enjoyed your thoughtful comments, Gerald -- thanks so much.

There are so many good actors named Robert -- a correspondent reminded me today of Robert Ryan as another good possible answer!

I saw I'LL BE SEEING YOU for the second time last Christmas and enjoyed it even more the second time. The family and home it depicts seemed very "real" to me.

Always glad to hear from another admirer of LAST OF THE MOHICANS. As you say, it stays with you. The first time I saw it I was a bit nervous, as R-rated violence isn't my usual thing, and I was so taken with it I watched it all over again the next day; I kept thinking over certain scenes and wanted to take another look. Not many characters are left standing by the end but it's such a rousing, beautifully made movie, and I love the Colonial era.

Many thanks for the tip on the silent MOHICANS. I'll be curious for your feedback when you watch your next silent movie! I truthfully read the cards about as quickly as they flash on the screen, and then feel like I'm sitting there counting seconds to get back to the movie, over and over again. I haven't seen a great number of silents but found I got to kind of dreading the sudden cuts to the black screens with words, although they're necessary at points. Hopefully I can work past this issue (grin) because I know there are many silents I should see and that I'll hopefully enjoy. In fact I just programmed Douglas Fairbanks Sr. in THE MARK OF ZORRO in my DVR. :)

Didn't know about PIMPERNEL SMITH -- thanks much for the tip!

Always great to hear from you!

Best wishes,

12:16 AM  
Blogger panavia999 said...

I did not know about Sinatra in Carousel! That is an interesting concept. He might have been quite good. However, like Montgomery Clift, Sinatra is one of those actors who is best in contemporary stories, not period pieces.

I can't agree with you about Kevin Costner there. I wish he'd chosen a completely different vocation than acting.

5:51 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

That's rather how I feel about Mr. Baldwin. :)

Best wishes,

8:20 PM  
Blogger panavia999 said...

I've only seen Baldwin in "Red October" which I watched because of Sean Connery. I don't really know much about his acting talent. His political views are so silly! However, let's give credit where it's due - Baldwin's commentaries on TCM are very nice. He should stick to being an expert in his particular field.
More importantly, I have also answered Amanda's survey on my blog. :-)

9:32 AM  
Blogger J.C. Loophole said...

I'm "late to the party" on this one, but here are my responses nonetheless:

11:58 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks for linking your answers, J.C.! I'll pop over and read them ASAP. :) Glad you participated!

Best wishes,

2:05 PM  

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