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August 07, 2011


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Really love Dieterle's HUNCHBACK. Even in such a condensed form, Hugo's story is unforgettable. Charles Laughton, with help from that striking make-up job, is heartbreaking, and Cedric Hardwicke is the most chilling Frollo imaginable. As the gypsy Esmerelda, who seems to pull every man she meets into her irresistible orbit, 18-year-old Maureen O'Hara may not be much of an actress yet, but her close-ups are among the most beautiful ever captured for the screen. The expensive production has some remarkable sets and fx, photographed by the great Joseph August. Essentials, Jr. is a great idea -- I hope kids are actually watching.

Tom Russell

Times like these make me wish Comcast didn't take away my TCM and replace it with seventeen different versions of QVC in HD.


Tom: That would make my head explode. Condolences.

My cable system is actually adding the HD version of TCM soon, so naturally I'm thrilled. Though I have a bit of trepidation about how non-HD transfers are going to look.

Pete Apruzzese

jbryant - The upconverted stuff on TCMHD doesn't look bad (of course, this also depends on the source and transfer). On my projection system, those non-HD upconverts look better than their SD broadcasts. The genuine HD transfers look very nice, naturally.


Cool! Wish they weren't showing Gunga Din, though. They might as well be showing Birth of a Nation or Triumph of the Will.....

Jeff McMahon

I don't think Gunga Din is nearly on the same level as those two films, although I'd definitely question its inclusion in a kids-oriented series. (Also no kid would ever sit through a 3-hour silent film or a documentary about speeches).


I have the HD version of TCM . And all the movie are looking great.


Come to think of it, Pete, on the rare occasion that I watch the standard def version of TCM on my HD TV (I usually watch it on my SD TV in another room), the movies look okay, especially if I don't sit too close. I presume SD movies will continue to look like that on TCMHD. Anyway, looking forward to the switch.


I've tried for many years to make myself dislike Gunga Din, but I can't. It's a great movie for the juniors, and its empire-worshiping and racially condescending aspects would make for a good discussion with the kids during and after the picture. Also it's important for the young 'uns to see Cary Grant as soon as possible.

It's by the way, but I understand that Lennon wasn't much of a househusband. That was primarily a cover story for his creative block and his tolerance for the presence of small children was quite low all his life. Difficult for Sean, even more so for Julian.


I don't plan on going to battle against Gunga Din, but I'd argue that, while maybe it's not as morally reprehensible as Triumph or Birth (if we can measure and compare moral reprehensibility like that), it's on the wrong side of the line and deserves notoriety. Stephanie: Would that every child watching Gunga Din had a conscientious adult on either side ready to point out the film's racist and imperialist tendencies! If we could guarantee that, then Triumph of the Will would be an equally great thing to show on Essentials, Jr. I'm saying that without irony. There are more responsible Cary Grant flicks to show than GD. I'm not one of those political correctness assholes, I swear. I just think it's a reprehensible film.

Well, that's all I've got to say. :)

The Siren

What Stephanie said. Also, Brian, while I understand and respect what you're saying, these days a parent who will bother with showing any 70-year-old black-and-white movie is 99% likely to be conscientious by definition. For the 1% of kids who tuned in because the babysitter left the room and they accidentally changed the channel from Nickelodeon or whatever, as a parent I'd rate Gunga Din, with Stevens and Joe August behind the camera and Cary Grant and Douglas Fairbanks Jr in front of it, as a lot less pernicious than Transformers. I saw it when I was probably about 8 or 9, nobody bothered to explain one damn thing about it to me and I still managed to grow up and figure out that Gunga Din was, to say the least, not a wholly accurate representation of colonialism, India, the British Army, or even Kipling himself.


The original Fright Night not a good movie huh. But the new one is really good? My personal opinion is that the original Fright Night was one of the best vampire movies made. I haven't seen the new one yet and hope to go in without being to judgemental, but somehow I just don't think it will hold a candle to the original.


Wrong thread, Ivan.

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