Friday, January 30, 2009

meme: 20 actors

I know I am late to this meme; Twenty favorite Actors, but I promised Laura I would throw in my 2 cents. And besides, why should I let everyone else have all the fun? This one wasn't as hard, but that isn't to say I had many actors not on this list that I could've included. I love the work of many actors, but the 20 on this list represent the actors whose films I have most sought to see, just because they were in the film. (And I may have cheated on one or two entries by including teams- so sue me, it's my list!)
So here they are, in no particular order- JC Loophole's Twenty Favorite Actors.

John Wayne

Spencer Tracy

The Marx Brothers

Gene Kelly

Jimmy Stewart

Tyrone Power, Jr.

Sydney Poitier

Fred Astaire

Dana Andrews

Edward G. Robinson

Errol Flynn

Charlton Heston

Charles Laughton

Clark Gable

Humphrey Bogart

Bing Crosby and Bob Hope

Cary Grant

James Cagney

William Powell

Pat O'Brian

And of course I could go on with 20 more- but rules is rules. As far as tagging goes, it's a little late for that - so if you have some choices yourself - let us know in the comments section or give us a link to your own list.

Oh, I know it's a penny here and a penny there, but look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.

There's not much to say about acting but this. Never settle back on your heels. Never relax. If you relax, the audience relaxes. And always mean everything you say.

Monday, January 26, 2009

tcm alert: new episode of private screenings

We were very fortunate to receive an advance screening of the new episode of Private Screenings- the wonderful original Turner Classic Movies program where erstwhile host Robert Osborne sits down and chats with a film professional. This episode's interviewee is Ernest Borgnine.

After having served in WW II, Borgnine pursued acting - first on sets, then as an actor in ensemble works. The gruff looking, big guy started out playing a henchman or the heavy in several roles, it was his titular role in the television production of the Broadway hit, Marty, that propelled Borgnine to better things. In a few short years, Borgnine had won an Oscar for the big screen version of Marty and was on his way; sometimes still playing the heavy, but also starring in Westerns and action flicks - and even as the title role of that lovable Naval rascal in McHale's Navy on television. Today, even my kid's recognize Borgnine's voice, as in addition to regular work in other shows, he is the voice of Mermaid Man on Nick's Spongebob Squarepants!

This episode of Private Screenings is well worth your while, as are all of the episodes. As always Robert Osborne makes a knowledgeable and charming host, and Borgnine has some great stories and memories. You can read more about him here.
TCM's Private Screenings premieres tonight at 8pm eastern followed by several of Ernest Borgnine's films: Marty, The Last Command and From Here to Eternity. Be sure to not miss it.

Oh, I know it's a penny here and a penny there, but look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.

All my brothers and brothers-in-laws tell me what a good-hearted guy I am. You don't get to be good-hearted by accident. You get kicked around long enough, you become a professor of pain.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

high wattage

I'm not much of a "Late Night Show" watcher- ever since Johnny Carson retired, it isn't really that interesting to be honest. Of course, back during Johnny's reign, the stars came out for him, even when a guest host was filling in. I don't mean to knock the current roster of hosts and shows, but it seems to me they pluck a comedian into a hosting gig and hope it goes off. If they are lucky they might hire someone who has been a writer, like Conan O'Brien, and actually has talent to make it entertaining.

But there is a key difference- the stars of today just aren't of the same wattage as the ones of the past. Now you might disagree with me, but in Johnny's day, there were guests and then sometimes a surprise guest might pop in studio- people like Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, George Burns, or maybe even Ann-Margaret. You knew you were going to laugh, hear some good music and be entertained. Today I don't even recognize half of the music acts that show up to perform, and the all the guest seem to be concerned about is plugging their latest attempt at a film performance that most likely will be disappointing.

Maybe I'm getting old or just more cantankerous, but I think the late shows have lost there luster. I offer the clips below as an example of a time when the big stars guested or even just "popped in" and yukked it up and the audience in studio and at home just ate it up. They knew the public was their lifeline, but with these people - entertaining was more than a career- it was in their blood.
When was the last time you saw such "high wattage" on a late show. Heck, to me they don't even make stages today that can handle the star power of these folks.

Check out Don Rickles guest hosting when Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and John Wayne pop in.

How about Johnny with two of his own favorite people: Mel Blanc and Jack Benny
(the clip is not wide as normal for some reason, but it's still fantastic- Mel still breaks up Jack and Johnny with a rountine they both know by heart):

And here is a clip segment of some great talent that appeared on Carson, including the one and the only Groucho (and Jack playing his violin!)

Oh sure, I know saying something like "the good ol' days" is a cliche, but sometimes, just sometimes, I think my grandparents had a point. They really don't make 'em like they used to.

Oh, I know it's a penny here and a penny there, but look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.

And so it has come to this. I am one of the lucky people in the world. I found something that I always wanted to do and I have enjoyed every single minute of it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

ricardo montalbán and patrick mcgoohan

Yes, we managed to fight our way through the tundra and make it back home. However, as soon as we did - we had to jump right back into real life. You know the saying about needing a vacation after the vacation. Totally true.
So things will be back on the ball here in short the meantime:

I would be remiss if we did not mention the passing of a two fine actors Patrick McGoohan (AKA: Number 6, Dr. Syn and Longshanks!) and Ricardo Montalbán . I know everyone remembers him from Star Trek and Fantasy Island, but he was also in several MGM musicals, including On an Island with You and Neptune's Daughter with Esther Williams (oddly enough one of those characters was name O'Rourke) and with Shelf fave Jane Powell in Two Weeks with Love. He was also in some fine Westerns and Noir films including Across the Wide Missouri and Border Incident. And of course he was in many other films and a frequent guest star on many television shows well before Fantasy Island. Did you know he was a very good friend of Don Rickles? Rickles talks about their friendship in Rickles' Book: A Memoir which is well worth the read! You can check out some very nice tributes at Laura's Miscellaneous Musings, Thrilling Days of Yesteryear and John Nolte's (AKA Dirty Harry) post at Big Hollywood.

Stay tuned to the Shelf. We'll be back with more...

Oh, I know it's a penny here and a penny there, but look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.

Don't touch; this is Corinthian leather.

Friday, January 02, 2009

happy yadda yadda yadda

Yep. It's 2009. Everyone is fully aware. I am still trying to get home- the Loopholes have been visiting family for the past two weeks (sorry about the light posting), and now airlines are doing their typical thing and doing the deed to the best laid plans. We'll be home shortly and back to the regular Shelf madness you all know and love. Just bear with us as we get back home and back into the groove.
And Happy New Year.

Oh, I know it's a penny here and a penny there, but look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.

I'm looking for Happy, the baby New Year. What if I don't find him in time?


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