Monthly Archives: September 2017

The Also-Rans Project — Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (Best Picture Also-Ran 1967)

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner poster.jpgDirected by Stanley Kramer

Screenplay by William Rose

Starring Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, Katharine Houghton, Isabel Sanford, Roy E. Glenn St., Beah Richards and Cecil Kellaway

In an alternate timeline, racism in America has been solved.  There is no disharmony, everybody gets along, and whatever differences they do have aren’t based on bullshit things like race or gender or sexual orientation.

Three cheers for irrational hostility based on looking different being a thing of the past! Continue reading

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Critical Distortions

Available in both ebook and paperback — buy one of each!

The original idea for this blog was there was no idea – I had no grand unified vision, only wanted some place to dump out the various non-fiction thoughts rolling around in my head.  Primarily those thoughts would be about movies, but they might very well be about anything.  I did not envision having columns, or features, or even having readers.  I just wrote what I felt like, when I felt like writing it, and chose this place to deposit it whether or not somebody was there to get it.

In a way, this blog was meant as a peek into my id. Continue reading

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The Also-Rans Project — Mildred Pierce – Best Picture Also Ran 1945

Mildred-Pierce-One-Sheet.jpgDirected by Michael Curtiz

Screenplay by Ranald MacDougall, based upon the novel by James M. Cain

Starring Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Eve Arden, Ann Blyth and Bruce Bennett

Everything I know biographically about Joan Crafword comes from two sources:

  • Mommie Dearest, the camptastic movie based on Christina Crawford’s ‘true’ story of life with her adopted mother, which paints Joan less as a human being and more as a wire-hanger hating nutcase. Faye Dunaway played Joan in that movie and while she doesn’t bother trying to make Joan ‘real’ or even give a nuanced performance within the ‘facts’,[1] she definitely gives an unforgettable performance.
  • The Six Degrees of Joan Crawford series from the podcast You Must Remember This, which doesn’t necessarily paint Joan as any less severe or career driven as Mommie Dearest, but does a much more effective job showing Joan as remarkably complicated and an almost-tragic figure in her own right.

While the two portrayals differ on the child abuse she’s alleged to have inflicted, both agree Crawford’s drive for success knew no bounds.  You Must Remember This spends a bit more time going into what lurked beneath that drive and did yeoman’s work trying to humanize Crawford in a way Mommie Dearest never would, but at least both properties agree on this particular facet of her personality. Continue reading

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