Friday, December 21, 2007
TV Characters Sing Just For You, Vol. 4 - Christmas Fun (2007)
I actually couldn't think of anything too interesting to post this Christmas, but as seems to happen a lot, this compilation turned out better than I thought it was going to, so maybe it ended up being interesting after all.
I was actually going to post a few more Christmas compilations but I completely ran out of time (you'd think I'd see that coming, but it always takes me by surprise). So you may get to hear some more Christmas music after the New Year! (I know you're really looking forward to that!)
Have lots of Christmas (and holiday) fun listening to this compilation and as always.....................
01 - Kukla, Fran and Ollie (Burr Tillstrom & Fran Allison) - A Good, Good Boy
02 - Tweety & Sylvester - I Tawt I Taw Ol' Tanty Claus (1994)
03 - Dennis Day & Jack Benny - I'm Ready Dennis - [Spoken]
04 - Dennis Day - Jingle Bells
05 - The Partridge Family - Winter Wonderland (1971)
06 - The Brady Bunch - Silver Bells
07 - Antonio 'Huggy Bear' Fargas - It's Christmas - [from 'Starsky & Hutch' (1975-1979)]
08 - Count Floyd (Joe Flaherty) - Reggae Christmas Eve in Transylvania - [from 'SCTV' (1977-1984)]
09 - Bob Rivers - Have Yourself An Ozzy Little Christmas (2002)
10 - The Cryptkeeper (John Kassir) - Deck The Hall With Parts Of Charlie (1995)
11 - Twin Peaks Cast Parody - The Twelve Days Of Christmas
12 - Dickie Goodman - Santa & The Touchables
13 - Mark Jonathan Davis - The Christmas Song by Lt. Sulu (1995)
14 - Mystery Science Theatre 3000 Cast - Merry Christmas...If That's OK (1996)
15 - Dennis Day & Jack Benny - Dennis - [Spoken]
16 - Ren & Stimpy - We Wish You A Hairy Chestwig (1993)
17 - Cast - The Lord's Bright Blessing - [from 'Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol' (1962)]
18 - Robert Downey, Jr. & Vonda Shepard - White Christmas - [from 'Ally McBeal']
19 - Cast - Winter Was Warm - [from 'Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol' (1962)]
20 - Kukla, Fran and Ollie (Burr Tillstrom & Fran Allison) - Christmas Is A Time
21 - Cast - It Happened In Sun Valley (1999) - [from 'South Park']
22 - The Brady Bunch - Frosty The Snowman
23 - Snow Miser (Dick Shawn) - Snow Miser - [from 'Year Without a Santa Claus']
24 - Heat Miser (George S. Irving) - Heat Miser - [from 'Year Without a Santa Claus']
25 - The Partridge Family - Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (1971)
26 - Rose Marie - Santa Send A Fella - [from 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' (1961-1966)]
27 - Billy Crystal - The Christmas Song (Edit) (1985)
28 - Eddie 'Kookie' Byrnes - Yulesville (1959) - [from '77 Sunset Strip' (1958-1964)]
29 - Ren & Stimpy - Happy Holiday Hop (1993)
30 - Dan Blocker - Deck The Halls - [from 'Bonanza' (1959-1973)]
31 - Bob Smith - Howdy Doody's Christmas Party - Side 3
32 - Santa Claus, Tweety, Daffy Duck, Foghorn Leghorn, Elmer Fudd, Taz, & Pepe Le Pew - We Wish You A Merry Christmas (And A Looney New Year!) (1994)
33 - Mark Jonathan Davis - Let It Snow by Lt. Sulu (1996)
34 - Dennis Day & Jack Benny - Oh Mr. Benny - [Spoken]
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TV Characters Sing Just For You, Vol. 4 - Christmas Fun - Part 1 (Rapidshare)
TV Characters Sing Just For You, Vol. 4 - Christmas Fun - Part 2 (Rapidshare)
TV Characters Sing Just For You, Vol. 4 - Christmas Fun (Megaupload)
around 107 MB
Tribute Series, Vol. 1 - Maureen O'Hara
I was watching 'Miracle On 34th Street' a little while ago (which they haven't taken to showing much on free televsion in the last decade or so, but thankfully they showed it this year) and it made me want to post a tribute to Maureen O'Hara, so here it is!
I've been wanting to do a tribute series for some time so I thought this would be as good a place to start as any.
Maureen O'Hara is one of my favorite actors (though I guess it's fair to say that that group is fairly large......and hopefully some of them will turn up in future Tributes!)
Maureen was born in 1920 as Maureen Fitzsimmons (or FitzSimons). (It would be a neat trick though if she had somehow been born as someone other than herself.)
I think she may also have been Irish.
She was one of the most beautiful women in film as the above pictures prove. She always seemed to have a look of sweetness but you always knew that beneath that was a core of pure Irish steel. (Is Ireland known for its steel production?)
She started with a bit part in 1938's 'Kicking The Moon Around' (which featured Ambrose & His Orch., by the way, for all those Ambrose fans) and then in 1939 went under contract with Charles Laughton to America where they made William Dieterle's' The Hunchback Of Notre Dame' & Alfred Hitchcock's 'Jamaica Inn' together. (and later Jean Renoir's 'This Land Is Mine' (1943) with Laughton as a Nazi-fighting schoolteacher. Somehow always reminds me of that movie where Errol Flynn plays the Nazi-fighting Norwegian fisherman.)
Her role as the gypsy girl Esmeralda in 'Hunchback' was a pretty memorable introduction to American audiences (unless you don't remember it, in which case, ignore what I just said). Sanctuary! Sanctuary!........sorry, just like 'Daktari! Daktari!', I feel compelled to say that every once in a while.
She did a remake of Katherine Hepburn's 'A Bill Of Divorcement' in 1940 with Adolphe Menjou in the role John Barrymore originally played (which is kind of strange considering that it was only 8 years after the original. I guess it just goes to show that today's studios have longer attention spans before they do a remake......or not.) The remake was written by Dalton Trumbo, by the way. Don't know why I mention that, but it seemed interesting. Okay, maybe only to me.
Speaking of remakes (and things that are only interesting to me), she also made 'Sentimental Journey' (1946) about a dying woman who adopts an orphan, which was remade as 'The Gift Of Love' (1958) starring Lauren Bacall......and both films were composed by Cyril Mockridge! (who also did the music for 'Miracle On 34th Street')
By the way, I believe Tony at I Luv My Turntable has posted The Gift Of Love.....which is yet another reason why I Love Tony AND His Turntable! So go over there and give him the gift of love.......or at least a nice comment! (and say Hi for me!)
Then she got another big boost by playing the Welsh girl, Angharad, in love with Walter Pidgeon's character in John Ford's 'How Green Was My Valley'. I wonder.......if you're Irish, is it hard to play Welsh? Are the Welsh offended? Will I stop ending sentences with a question mark?
Considering Walter Pidgeon was playing a minister though, her character didn't have the easiest of times in the movie. The movie was a John Ford masterpiece (at least I think so) and one of the four non-Westerns for which he won an Oscar. (Not that you asked or anything, but the others were 'The Informer', 'The Grapes Of Wrath', & 'The Quiet Man'. And who says the Academy doesn't have respect for Westerns?) It beat out Citizen Kane, by the way, which I'm sure some people today may still be cheesed off about. I wouldn't be one of them though and I understand why it won (and basically agree with the choice, but that's a discussion for another day), but it is definitely like saying one apple is juicier than another orange.
This movie also reminds me of the story (if I remember right) of how John Ford did multiple takes of Maureen O'Hara walking in her bridal gown after her marriage in the movie (to another man) and how he carefully made sure that the back of her veil flew up in the wind. I forget what symbolism that represented (if any), but it was an incredible visual nonetheless. And it reminds you of what a great director John Ford was.
And she would go on to make 'Rio Grande', 'The Quiet Man', 'The Long Gray Line', and 'The Wings Of Eagles' with Ford. Thinking of her in the 'The Long Gray Line' (1955) with Tyrone Power (another sentimental look at an Irish couple but this time at West Point) reminds me of her in 1942's The Black Swan also with Tyrone Power (.........and come to think of it, she also did 'Ten Gentlemen From West Point' in 1942). There was something about her that seemed to fit in swashbuckling movies like that (and apparently in West Point movies too).
Maybe it was the feistiness that made her ideal for being around pirates and smugglers. (And ironically, 'The Black Swan' takes place in Jamaica while 'Jamaica Inn' actually takes place in Cornwall. Go figure.) She would go on to make films like 'The Spanish Main' (1945) (with Paul Henreid), 'Sinbad The Sailor' (1947) (with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.), 'Tripoli' (1950) (with John Payne.....and no, it wasn't a sequel to 'Miracle On 34th Street' unless Santa Claus was secretly a Barbary pirate), and 'Against All Flags' (1952) (with Errol Flynn). And thinking of her in a swashbuckling role (that didn't involve pirates but did involve Musketeers) like 'At Sword's Point' (1952) (with Cornel Wilde) reminds me of watching that movie as a kid and thinking how refreshing it was to actually see a woman in a sword fight back then. In the last ten years or so it's a little more common sight with actresses like Geena Davis in 'Cutthroat Island', Catherine Zeta Jones in the Zorro movies, & Keira Kneightly in the Pirates films, but back then it seemed a lot more rare so it was especially fun to see Maureen O'Hara do it (or say, Jean Peters in 'Anne Of The Indies' (1951)). It seems to me Maureen even got to dress up as a Musketeer in that film.
There was also something about her that made her ideal to hang around the military whether it was in a war film or a Western. Again, maybe it's the feistiness. Or maybe soldiers just like having gorgeous women around. That seems pretty reasonable now that I think about it. I know I enjoy that and I'm not even a soldier.
She made movies like 'To The Shores of Tripoli' (1942) (with Randolph Scott and again with John Payne) (seems like she can't get away from Tripoli (or John Payne) either, except just as in the case of 'Jamaica Inn', 'To The Shores of Tripoli' wasn't in Tripoli, but takes place in San Diego), 'The Immortal Sergeant' (1943) (with Henry Fonda, but this time the movie actually WAS set in North Africa), and let's not even talk about all the Westerns!
Ones like 'Buffalo Bill' (1944) and 'Comanche Territory' (1950) or the ones with John Wayne like 'Rio Grande' (1950), 'McLintock!' (1963), and 'Big Jake' (1971).
For some reason in my mind, I tend to lump together some of those movie Westerns she did later in her career like 'Big Jake', 'McLintock!', 'The Rare Breed' (1966) (with Jimmy Stewart), 'The Deadly Companions' (1961) (with Brian Keith, in the same year as 'The Parent Trap'), and even, 'The Red Pony' (1972 TV-Movie) (with Henry Fonda) (with music by Jerry Goldsmith, not to be confused with Aaron Copland's version of 'The Red Pony'.......well, okay confuse them if you want to) even though they were all different. Or 'Spencer's Mountain' (1963) (with Henry Fonda) and 'Mr. Hobbs Takes A Vacation' (1962) (again with Jimmy Stewart) even though those two movies were as different as night and day. Or drama and comedy, as the case may be.
Maybe it was the fact that I kept expecting 'Spencer's Mountain' to star Spencer Tracy, but it would always be Henry Fonda. And maybe it was the fact that Tracy did that movie with Robert Wagner called 'The Mountain'. I think it just used to get me confused as a kid. Well, 'Spencer's Mountain' was really just a precursor to the TV show, 'The Waltons'. Is precursor the right word? I never know how to define movies like that. Both were written by Earl Hamner, Jr., but was it basically the same adaptation of his own life or two different stories about the same basic material?
That's the same dilemma I have, say, with a movie like 'Never Too Late' (1965) with Paul Ford & Maureen O'Sullivan (not to be confused with Maureen O'Hara). That movie would also confuse me as a kid because that was basically a precursor to the TV show, 'All In The Family' (1971-1979) or at least it seemed that way to me. They were both produced by Norman Lear and while I would watch the movie I'd be thinking, this seems like Norman Lear's characters even though the movie was based on a play. And then you'd watch the TV show and it would say that it was based on the British TV show, 'Till Death Do Us Part'. And then you'd hear Norman Lear talking about it and he would say the characters were based on himself and his own family. So as a kid I would be fairly confused (so what's the difference today?). I've never bothered to look it up though so I guess it couldn't have bothered me too much.
Maybe the British TV show was based on the play? I'm guessing Norman Lear just merged everything together. Except the playwright wrote the screenplay to the movie as well, so if it was Norman Lear using his own characters, you'd think the screenwriter would object. Or maybe it was just an incredible coincidence that Norman Lear's life was very much like that play and the British TV show. (An overbearing working class father with a meek wife and a pretty newly-married blonde daughter with a husband that the father abuses and insults partly because they all live together. Could just be a coincidence, I guess.) Oh, well.
So what does that have to do with Maureen O'Hara? Well, they both had Maureens in them. (but so did some of her military pictures.....no, wait. Sorry. That was marines. Never mind.)
And what about 'Mr. Hobbs Takes A Vacation'? In my mind, that tends to get lumped in with 'Take Her, She's Mine' (1963) even though that was Audrey Meadows and not Maureen O'Hara. It was all those Jimmy Stewart family comedies around the same time. Well, maybe those were really the only two (along with say 'Dear Brigitte', but that one's pretty distinctive).
Well, now you see why I don't talk more about the movies on the blog. You get discussions like these.
Well, since I was talking about 'Mr. Hobbs Takes A Vacation', maybe I should mention her comedies. Despite all of her dramatic work and even though she did fewer comedies than dramas and action pictures, I still always think of her comedically. Maybe because of 'The Parent Trap' (1961) and 'Miracle On 34th Street' (1947), two of my favorite films. And now that I think about it, two films that both get endlessly remade in film and television. Always a testament to great ideas.
And to me, a movie like 'The Parent Trap' is made even more impressive when you really consider it. Think about the basic premise of divorced parents separating their twin daughters, living at opposite ends of the country, and never telling them that the other even exists. Normally, the audience should think these parents are really terrible. If it hadn't been handled so well, the whole tone of the movie could've been very different. We easily could've been distracted by that nagging dislike of those characters in the back of our minds, but we actually really like Maureen O'Hara and Brian Keith in that movie. Or Hayley Mills' character could've been overly precious or at the other end, obnoxious, but it wasn't (at least for me, although some other people might not feel that way). Or the audience could really groan at the incredible coincidence of them meeting at camp or the idea that they wouldn't automatically recognize that they were sisters, but it was handled well enough in the movie so that glaring moments requiring suspension of disbelief never really felt contrived. (Or maybe I just have a low threshhold of belief) [How about Brian Keith holding Maureen O'Hara's bra and wondering if it could be Hayley Mills'? Now that takes suspension of disbelief!........................and now that's reminding me of Maureen O'Hara's role as 'Lady Godiva' (1955).............sorry, nice mental flashback there............or is that fleshback?]
I've seen so many comedies made in the last twenty years or so where I think if it had just had a little better writing or direction or casting these would be classic comedies, but somehow they just miss. And that's nothing against the filmmakers in the sense that I don't think I could do any better, but you just know that at one time people seemed to know how to do it pretty frequently. I've seen a lot of comedies today with fantastic and imaginative ideas, but there's always something wrong with the execution and I think to myself, boy if that had just been directed by Preston Sturges, Billy Wilder, Howard Hawks, or Ernst Lubitsch, for instance, it would be a classic comedy instead of a near-miss.
Not that 'The Parent Trap' exactly falls into that Billy Wilder-type category, but you think about Disney films like 'The Parent Trap', 'Pollyanna', 'Mary Poppins', or 'The Swiss Family Robinson' and they were all made with a great basic level of quality that you could easily imagine falling flat if it wasn't handled properly. The writing, the casting, the production quality, the direction. So solid!
So not only do I have an affection for movies like 'The Parent Trap' but a certain amount of admiration. Which probably also applies to Maureen O'Hara, now that I think about it.
And the whole idea of 'Miracle on 34th Street' is incredible. Such a simple idea, you'd think somebody would've thought of it before. Perhaps it was the kind of idea that you could only do after World War II. If it had been done after World War I or even during the Great Depression, maybe there would be too much cynicism or even too much reverence, in a strange way. Or maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. Either way, a great idea expertly executed. And an interesting way to tell if that's true or not is to compare it to its remakes. You could see if you just tweaked it a little bit here or there how it might not work so effectively.
And the interesting dilemma in both films is to make the characters likable enough so that we care about them, but hard enough so that they're believable and interesting. In 'The Parent Trap', we have to like Maureen O'Hara and Brian Keith enough so that we care about their relationship with each other and to their daughters, but we also have to believe that they were hard enough to get along with so that we understand why they couldn't live with or even talk to one another.
And in 'Miracle on 34th Street' we have to believe that Maureen O'Hara would be a cynical enough mother not to let her daughter believe in Santa Claus, but not so cold that we wonder why she's being such a sourpuss. A fine line in both cases that requires a basic likability in the actress portraying both characters, I think. And both films benefit from having actors in the central roles who live up to those daunting acting challenges. Well, imagine winning an Oscar for playing Santa Claus! You HAVE to be a great actor! (Not to mention Hayley Mills winning a special Academy Award for 'Pollyanna'). Not that there was ever any doubt that Edmund Gwenn was a great actor, but you know what I mean.
Oh, and I almost forgot about another favorite comedy of mine with her in it! How could I forget about 'Sitting Pretty' (1948) (with Robert Young)? (Probably because I don't get to see these great movies as often as I once did! Someday I'll get around to buying that TV station and run my own programming! Oh, wait. That's called a video store. Sorry!)
Now that I think about it, that movie also benefits from a classic performance by its lead actor of another classic character. And Maureen ends up playing a mother with rambunctious or independent children in all three of those movies! There was something about her that also made her well-suited to play mothers on screen. It was probably that maternal quality. Yeah, I think that's what mothers have.
Well, I guess it's pretty safe to say that 'Sitting Pretty' doesn't get re-run on TV as often as those other two movies, but in case people never got a chance to see it, it's the first in the series of films starring Clifton Webb as the character of Lynn Belvedere which was later turned into the TV series, 'Mr. Belvedere' starring Christopher Hewett (sp?) (who may be just as remembered for his role in 'The Producers'). I never watched the show, but I guess the Bob Uecker (sp?) character would be equivalent to the Robert Young character in the movie (though I think the character names and families might have been different). I guess that means Ilene Graff would be Maureen O'Hara?
That was such a funny movie! And I liked the two sequels too, though they weren't quite as good as the original. Well, if you remember the TV show, you probably know the premise of the movie too. Robert Young and Maureen O'Hara play a young married couple who hire what they think is a female babysitter named Lynn, sight unseen, and Clifton Webb shows up at their door. They only want a regular babysitter, but he moves in and turns their household upside down. It's probably one of my all-time favorite movies. And Lynn Belvedere goes right up there with Derek Flint and Dexter Riley on my list of all-time favorite movie geniuses. (Oh, and stick Ronald Colman's character from 'Champagne For Caesar' (1950) on that list too while you're at it.)
See, again this is the reason why I don't talk about these films (or music) more often on the blog. You get this kind of movie diarrhea (which I guess is more like logorrhea, in this case). Of course, it's probably better than all the other times I talk about stuff that only I care about.
Oh, and I completely forgot about 'The Quiet Man' (1952)! Another favorite comedy of mine. I guess I tend to think of it less as a comedy and more as a John Ford movie. I know it's probably a mythical representation of Ireland and Irish people (you mean they don't all sing in pubs and have knock-down, drag-out fights in the middle of fields?), but it's an irresistible depiction.
John Wayne plays Sean Thornton who returns to the land of his ancestors to buy a house and settle down and meets a pretty, but tempestuous colleen played by Maureen O'Hara. But he encounters a little problem with her brother. It's the quintessential Irish lass character that Maureen O'Hara plays so perfectly though it seems to me that she didn't actually play it that often when you really think about it. And probably never to this extent. And now that I think about it, it may be my favorite role of hers. (See.....better blogs would've given you HER opinion of what her favorite role was, but I give you the vitally important information about what I think was MY favorite role of hers!)
And sometimes, parts of that fight scene in the movie (the one in the boxing ring, not the one with Victor McLaglen) remind me of Raging Bull. And that visual of John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara standing in his house with the wind blowing is incredible. Though, for the longest time, I would wonder about the ending to that film. On the one hand, I understand it and on the other hand it seems to be sending the wrong message. In some ways, it almost seems she's being too materialistic, then in other ways it seems like she can only love a man who's violent? I know that's not quite the message, but the moral of that story sometimes makes me wonder. In order to show courage, you're going to have to beat somebody up? Or perhaps it's just that she couldn't really love a man who didn't face his own fears? Or maybe she just likes burning things? I don't know. Hmmmm.........it sort of reminds me of the ending to The Taming Of The Shrew. Is the moral of that play, total subservience is the key to happiness? Is it that women should be meek? Or maybe it's that happiness and self-discovery can only be found after being really irritated and making a big speech? I'm not sure. I get confused. I don't know the answers, but it's still fun to think about.
Well, in any case, it's a great movie. (And it's always fun to watch people beat each other up.)
And not to turn this into a Wikipedia entry about Maureen O'Hara, but I might as well mention some of her other comedies and comedy-dramas like, 'Father Was A Fullback' (1949) (with Fred MacMurray), Everything But The Truth (1956) (with John Forsythe and another child (played by Tim Hovey) that gives her problems!), Britannia Mews (1949) (with Dana Andrews and puppets!), Our Man In Havana (1959) (with Alec Guinness and Noel Coward), How Do I Love Thee? (1970) (with Jackie Gleason and music by Randy Sparks) [not to be confused with her musical, 'Do You Love Me?' (1946) (with Dick Haymes and music by Harry James)], The Battle Of The Villa Fiorita (1965), and Only The Lonely (1991) (with John Candy (not to be confused with Ally Sheedy)).
And then there's her movies with an international flavor like, 'Malaga' (1954) (with MacDonald Carey - drug smugglers), 'Lisbon' (1956) (starring and directed by Ray Milland - thieves), 'Kangaroo' (1952) (with Peter Lawford - con men), 'The Magnificent Matador' (1955) (with Anthony Quinn - matadors), Flame Of Araby (1951) (with Jeff Chandler - Arabian princesses), and Bagdad (1949) (with Vincent Price - Iraqi princesses? Okay, not princesses. She was more like the daughter of a chieftain.).
And there were movies like The Fallen Sparrow (1943) (with John Garfield) that had some of that same international intrigue (except they took place in the United States).
Well, she basically stopped making movies with 1971's 'Big Jake', except for the TV-remake of 'The Red Pony' in 1972 and then twenty years later was lured out of retirement (was it really retirement?) to make 1991's 'Only The Lonely' (with John Candy as the police officer) in the role of his Irish mother. I remember at the time her giving interviews and saying that she wasn't doing movies because the roles being sent to her weren't that interesting, but it just may be my memory playing tricks on me. But she liked the feistiness of the role in 'Only The Lonely'. And I think John Hughes was really persistent in courting her for the movie. Or was it Chris Columbus? I forget (see, this is why you shouldn't come to this blog for information). One of them was the one who talked to her. I can't believe it was that long ago. It seems like just yesterday that I was watching her give all those interviews for that movie.
It was great to see her doing pictures again even if it was only that one time. It always seemed a shame that she should stop when she could've easily done so many more films in the interim. It's the same reaction I have with Doris Day. Though in both cases, it's understandable. They would've had to do some very strange movies or some very tricky roles in order to keep doing movies in the 1970's and 1980's (let alone the 1990's!). Well, in Maureen's case, it seems to me she was too busy (and happy) taking care of her business interests. The airline business if memory serves. I could be confusing her with a different actress, but I think she owned her own airline (taken over from her late husband?). (Again, too lazy to look it up! Sorry about that!........Well, after writing all this and compiling that music, I'm surprised I still have the energy to type...............weklsiu I shwo3.........uh, maybe I spoke too soon.)
So many good memories associated with Maureen O'Hara! Well, I hope you enjoy a few listening to this as well, but I think you can still enjoy listening to it even if you have no interest in Maureen O'Hara whatsoever. Wait a minute. How would you have gotten this far down in the post if that were true? Hmmmmm........something to think about.
01 - Miracle on 34th Street (1947) (Cyril J. Mockridge) - 20th Century Fox Fanfare (Alfred Newman) / Main Title
02 - Miracle on 34th Street (1947) (Cyril J. Mockridge) - The House / Book Montage
03 - The Quiet Man (1952) (Victor Young) - The Fight
04 - The Quiet Man (1952) (Victor Young) - The Courting / Bicycle Made for Two (Village Street)
05 - The Quiet Man (1952) (Victor Young) - St. Patrick's Day
06 - Maureen O'Hara - Ireland Was Never Like This (1960)
07 - Maureen O'Hara - Come Back To Erin (1961)
08 - Maureen O'Hara - Nora Lee / I Once Loved A Boy (1961)
09 - Maureen O'Hara - Give Him To Me (1961)
10 - How Green Was My Valley (1941) (Alfred Newman) - Angharad And Mister Gruffydd
11 - How Green Was My Valley (1941) (Alfred Newman) - Angharad With The Minister
12 - The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (1939) (Alfred Newman) - Esmeralda In Bell Tower
13 - The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (1939) (Alfred Newman) - Esmeralda's Dance
14 - Only The Lonely (1991) (Maurice Jarre) - Guilt
15 - Only The Lonely (1991) (Maurice Jarre) - Teresa
16 - Maureen O'Hara - I Only Have Eyes For You (1958)
17 - The Fallen Sparrow (1943) (Roy Webb) - Main Title
18 - The Wings Of Eagles (1957) (Jeff Alexander) - Main Title
19 - The Immortal Sergeant (1942) (David Buttolph) - Main Title / End Title
20 - Big Jake (1971) (Elmer Bernstein) - Riders
21 - Big Jake (1971) (Elmer Bernstein) - Going Home - Finale
22 - The Red Pony (1973 TV) (Jerry Goldsmith) - Track 04
23 - The Red Pony (1973 TV) (Jerry Goldsmith) - Track 09
24 - Rio Grande (1950) - The Sons Of The Pioneers - Aha, San Antone
25 - McLintock! (1963) (Frank De Vol) - McLintock's Main Title And Katherine Theme
26 - McLintock! (1963) (Frank De Vol) - Rowdayoh
27 - The Parent Trap (1961) - Hayley Mills - Let's Get Together
28 - Mr. Hobbs Takes A Vacation (1962) (Henry Mancini) - Side Winder
29 - Mr. Hobbs Takes A Vacation (1962) (Henry Mancini) - Rudders And Sails
30 - Mr. Hobbs Takes A Vacation (1962) (Henry Mancini) - Main Title
31 - Maureen O'Hara - You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To (1958)
Total Time: 1:17:31
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Tribute Series, Vol. 1 - Maureen O'Hara - Part 1 (Rapidshare) - 90 MB
Tribute Series, Vol. 1 - Maureen O'Hara - Part 2 (Rapidshare) - 80 MB
Tribute Series, Vol. 1 - Maureen O'Hara (Megaupload)
around 170 MB
@ mostly 320 Kbps
P.S. The compilation was meant as a (hopefully) good listening experience and to highlight Maureen O'Hara more than the scores themselves so the tracks aren't always in the same order as they were in the films, but you could probably tell that by looking at it. It may be a little disorienting for those who are associating them with scenes in the movies, but it wasn't me being whimsical; they just sounded better rearranged in a certain order. (And if you want to hear some of these scores in their entirety, I'm sure if you hunt around you can find many of them posted all around the blogosphere (or posted at your local store). Another reason to be thankful for the online world!) :))
P.P.S. For instance, if you want 'It's A Wonderful Life / Miracle On 34th Street', might I recommend going to my friends' Sallie & Mel's wonderful 'The Vintage Place' which I haven't gotten around to talking about on the blog yet, but hopefully it'll be one of those thousand things I get around to doing! Well, go over there; you won't be sorry! :))) [and say Hi for me too while you're at it. Thanks!]
P.P.P.S. I just tried 'The Vintage Place' and it looks like it's disappeared and I fear the worst. If anybody knows what happened, let me know. Thanks.
P.P.P.P.S. Just spent the last fifteen minutes finding out what happened to 'The Vintage Place' and the worst has happened as Sallie had to shut it down. My thoughts go out to Sallie and Mel and I hope Sallie will not be too affected by the harassment she has had. I hope your holiday will still be a happy one and that you will have a wonderful New Year despite what has happened. Please feel free to contact me if you want to commiserate. :))
The Sound Of Music (a.k.a., T'zlili Hamuzika) (1995 Israeli Cast) (Rodgers & Hammerstein)
It stars Chani Nachmias (as Maria) & Sasi Keshet (as Von Trapp) and as always, it's nice to hear an Israeli cast playing Austrian characters in an American musical.
It occurs to me that since I'm very unlikely to ever post the film soundtrack (as opposed to this stage version) on the blog that now is my golden opportunity to actually talk about the film. When do I ever get the chance to do that if not now? (Sure, it might break out in the middle of a Jerry Goldsmith post, but it hasn't happened yet, so now seems as good a time as any.)
It's interesting to me how the film became an annual Christmas tradition. I'm not sure when that happened (or why exactly), but it's nice that at least it gets shown nationally once a year. It's like 'The Ten Commandments' (1956) at Easter. It's still sort of odd though because there was a time when they'd show these movies all year round. Just as with 'It's A Wonderful Life', I don't think these movies were particularly associated with holiday viewing. Obviously, 'It's A Wonderful Life' has a more natural connection, but perhaps they were so familiar to people that they didn't feel the need to run them but once a year.
But in the case of 'The Sound Of Music', when you think about it, there is no particular Christmas connection. The same thing goes for the song, 'My Favorite Things', being put on so many Christmas compilations. It's only because 'My Favorite Things' makes you think of gifts, I suppose. I almost wonder if that's why they show the movie at Christmas time. That and the fact that it's a nice family film. (Any movie with Nazis has to be a good family film.)
Every time I watch it with all the other holiday movies, I keep expecting that a Christmas tree should pop up or Santa will come skiing down the mountain, but it never happens. (Is there a Christmas tree in the movie? I forget.)
Well, I remember when I was watching the movie, maybe 10 or 15 years ago, and it suddenly occurred to me how amazing the screenplay was. (I know, sometimes I'm pretty slow on the uptake.) It occurred to me that even though the telecast was 4 hours long, the movie was never boring. Usually, you expect the story to flag or lull somewhere, but I realized that as each conflict is resolved a new one is presented. It's done so seamlessly that it drives the narrative without really sagging at any point. (Which is really what a good screenplay is supposed to do, but you see a lot of really long movies where it gets occasionally boring........like this post. But great movies like 'Lawrence Of Arabia' or 'Dances With Wolves' never feel long.)
You start with the question of whether Maria is going to make a good nun and while that question is still up in the air, she's sent to the Von Trapps. Then, you wonder if she's going to make a good governess and whether she's going to get along with the children (and whether Christopher Plummer is going to get along with his own children). Then after she bonds with them over 'My Favorite Things' and a little 'Do Re Mi', that conflict's resolved, but then you quickly move to the question of their potential new stepmother and Maria's feelings for the Captain. You have Eleanor Parker as romantic rival and wicked stepmother (that role, by the way, was a little more beefed up, musically, in the stage version, with her and Richard Haydn's characters getting some additional songs).
Then as soon as Maria and the Captain realize their love for each other, the questions of their romantic triangle, their feelings for each other, and Maria's future as a nun are all wrapped up neatly in one fell stroke (with his relationship with his children being healed somewhere along the way, for good measure). You'd expect some letdown in the story at this point, but as soon as you have the wedding and the honeymoon, the Nazi occupation begins. (Isn't that always the way? Just as soon as you get the wedding gifts unwrapped, Nazis show up.)
And then that drives the whole rest of the story until the end. I've seen 90 minute movies that seemed less streamlined. Ernest Lehman certainly did a good job with the screenplay. And Robert Wise did a magnificent job with the direction. Well, directing a musical, he beat out William Wyler, David Lean, & John Schlesinger that year, so that's pretty good.
And one of the things that makes it works so well, I think, is Christopher Plummer's performance. He gave the story a strong dramatic spine that helped keep it from being too saccharine and made the audience care about his character's strong national pride and sense of real danger from the Nazi occupation. (Even though I think for years after he used to call the movie, 'The Sound Of Mucous'.) I think the possibility of the story being too sugary sweet also worried Julie Andrews and Robert Wise, but I think they succeeded in tempering it so that it was really effective.
I remember hearing Oscar Hammerstein responding to the events of the play when asked about it being a bit too much and I think he basically responded that it couldn't be helped because that's what really happened. Those were the basic events in their lives. Though from what I understand the personalities of The Captain and Maria (or is that The Captain & Tenille?) were somewhat reversed in real life. She was a bit more hard-nosed and driven and he was a bit more amiable and easy-going. (In fact, when they eventually moved to America, after his death she was so determined to keep the family together as a singing group, I don't think she allowed the children to even date or get married, so the eldest daughter eventually ran away and other children later mutinied as well. So much for 'Sixteen Going On Seventeen' and 'My Favorite Things', I guess, and more like 'So Long, Farewell'.)
And of course, it wouldn't have worked at all without the performances of Julie Andrews and the children.
It would also get my vote as one of the top 3 or 4 best screen adaptations of a stage musical. And possibly the best example of 'opening up' a stage musical ever done. Of the integrated book musicals in the post-Oklahoma era (earlier screen adaptations tended to change stage musicals pretty significantly sometimes leaving say, only one song from the original, so it's harder to count those), I think the dilemma was always between preserving the original play and 'opening' it up so that it functioned as an actual movie and not simply a filmed play. So at one end of that spectrum you have movies like 'My Fair Lady' in which George Cukor opted for preservation and say, 'The Music Man' (which is one of the other ones I think of as in that top 3 or 4 screen adaptations category) in which the director, Morton Da Costa even had scenes end with the stage going dark and a spotlight hitting the characters.
And then at the other end you have 'The Sound Of Music' with its brilliant use of location scenery. Unlike movie musicals like 'South Pacific', 'Paint Your Wagon', or 'Hello, Dolly!', for instance, that tried to open up the stories with extensive use of their locations, I think 'The Sound Of Music' was much more successful at integrating it into the film without distracting the audience or swamping over the story with background spectacle. (Too harsh on those other films? Well, possibly. But then again I don't see them re-running 'Hello, Dolly!' at Christmas time either. Though it would be interesting if they did. Dolly Levi's late husband's sentiment of spreading money around like manure to make young things grow seems to be very Christmas-y.)
(And not that you asked, but my other nominees for best adaptations would be 'West Side Story', possibly 'Grease' (for other reasons), and a few others I can't think of right now.)
And one of the other amazing things that 'The Sound Of Music' did that was so rare was that it almost eclipsed the original stage production in the minds of a worldwide audience. That doesn't happen very often. Usually, people are disappointed by the screen adaptation in some way, no matter how good the film is. But like 'Grease' that came after it, 'The Sound Of Music' almost made people forget that there was an original (though in the case of 'Grease' it was revived so often that it was never quite out of people's minds). And like 'Grease', when they perform the stage musicals subsequent to the films, they often end up using songs that were written specifically for the film otherwise people get disappointed and feel they're missing something!
And it also seemed to me that after the enormous success of the film, it encouraged studios to make these larger-than-life, studio-bankrupting movies to try and recapture that success. I think movie musicals would've naturally declined around that time (both 'book' musicals and pop musicals like the Elvis and Beach Party movies) if 'The Sound Of Music' and 'Oliver' hadn't hit it big around that time. And so for every huge success like that, you get a 'Man Of La Mancha', 'Mame', or 'Song Of Norway'. Then it was all set to die out again, when 'Saturday Night Fever' and 'Grease' came along. But then you get 'Xanadu' and 'Can't Stop The Music' and kill it all over again.
It's funny, but every few years I hear someone say that the movie musical is going to be revived after the success of some film. I seemed to remember hearing that after 'Fame' and then 'Footloose' and then after 'Dirty Dancing'. Then 'Chicago' and 'Hairspray'. But there are three things about that that I think people tend to overlook.
First, one film doesn't necessarily turn around a whole genre (they said the same thing about Westerns after 'Unforgiven' for instance and they periodically say it about Kevin Costner & Mickey Rourke films too, now that I think about it).
Secondly, when musicals were considered a popular genre they were actually closer to popular music (and you actually had people like the Gershwins, Irving Berlin, and Cole Porter writing original film musicals. Later, you had stage adaptations where the songs would appear in the Top 40. You're not likely to get that to happen with say, 'The Color Purple' or 'The Producers'. (Though I am waiting for them to put out the album, 'R. Kelly Sings Hits from 'Annie'')).
Thirdly, it's a dirty little secret, but musicals have never actually gone away. People don't like to admit it, but they actually like musicals. I hear a lot of people say that one of the reasons they don't like musicals is because people spontaneously break out into song and dance in the middle of the film and it seems unreal, but then you ask them if they like seeing Tom Hanks dancing on a giant piano, Julia Roberts singing karaoke in a restaurant, Jim Carrey singing 'Cuban Pete', Mike Myers dancing to 'Soul Bossa Nova', or Will Ferrell singing 'Afternoon Delight', and they want to see more. It's one of the reasons you'd see so many films set in karaoke bars in the late 90's. They wanted to sneak musical numbers in somehow without people knowing it. (And then when I hear people talk about the unreality of musicals, I always imagine them explaining to me the reality of a cyborg from the future or an archaeologist who keeps fighting Nazis with a whip. Hey, there are those pesky Nazis again!)
It reminds me of how a whole younger generation of women say they aren't feminists. Then if you ask them if they're for female equality, equal opportunity and a whole list of feminist principles, they say, 'Sure, I'm for all those things.' They just don't like to think they're feminists when they actually are.
And people love film musicals so much that they keep making them. It's just that musical purists don't like to think of pop, rock or rap musicals as being musicals. What is 'Breakin'', 'La Bamba', 'Great Balls Of Fire', 'The Bodyguard', 'Ray', or 'Hustle And Flow', for instance, if not some form of musical? I think that's actually the only way musicals would revive as a genre. Only if they actually did more films that used contemporary music with popular artists, but integrated into the story. Take a movie like '8 Mile' with Eminem. That's a perfect example of what they should do (but perhaps with more integration into plot and character) if they actually wanted to revive it as a genre. I'm surprised they don't do it more often. Essentially do the equivalent of the teen musicals of the 1950's or even Elvis pictures (though that might not work as well today). But I think the reason they don't is because a singer or group's popularity is a lot more short-lived today. By the time you finish a picture and release it, they're yesterday's news. And all their best material is done on a music video.
That's another dirty little secret. All the time people were watching music videos they were actually watching mini-musicals. Story told through song and dance. But I bet if you told people watching the latest video that they liked musicals they'd probably tell you you were crazy.
Of course, I'd like to see the integrated book musical become a prominent genre again. Or the original film musical, like 'Seven Brides For Seven Brothers' or 'Take Me Out To The Ball Game', for instance. But I don't think that's very likely to happen any time soon unless musical tastes change severely. We do seem to be going through a nice period where studios (perhaps after the success of 'Chicago' and 'Moulin Rouge') are more willing to green light screen adaptations like 'The Producers', 'Guys And Dolls', 'Rent', and 'Sweeney Todd'. Or movies like 'Across The Universe'. But unless those make a ton of money (which most of them didn't, I think), I think it's just going to be a brief period. Which is not pessimism so much as realism, I suppose. It's just too expensive to rehearse people for months and write original music that hasn't been tested thousands of time on stage or on record without a studio machine like MGM had in the 1930's through the 50's, for instance. It would need to make 'Pirates Of The Carribean' money (and which by the way, people thought pirate movies were a bad idea too).
It is funny how at one time people went to musicals in large enough numbers to make them economically viable and turn people like Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Eleanor Powell, and Esther Williams into huge stars. Can you imagine people turning a swimming or skating athlete into a huge musical star today? But it just goes to show that musicals weren't just for a marginalized audience back then. It was like going to a Western, an action picture, or a drama. Today, I think it's considered in some kind of other category. I'm not quite sure what though. Maybe like going to an opera or ballet film. (Which, by the way, makes me laugh when I think of people imagining that movies like 'Evita' or 'The Phantom Of The Opera' which are essentially pop operas might be giant box office hits just because they were hits on the stage. People aren't really going to revive movie musicals with poperettas (nothing against them, but again, it isn't very likely to happen).)
But then again the success of 'The Sound Of Music' when musicals were in a decline is a testament to how, if you make a movie good enough, it can inspire more people to try. (Just hopefully not with 'The Song Of Norway'.)
Well, now that I've bored everyone with my opinions about musicals, here's hoping you're still in the mood to listen to 'The Lonely Goatherd' in Hebrew.
P.S. Miscellaneous trivia about the movie rattling around in my head:
- Watch (extremely briefly) for the cameo by the real Maria Von Trapp as she walks far in the background behind Julie Andrews (if I remember right, somewhere during 'I Have Confidence')
- Since lyricist Oscar Hammerstein died before the film was made, Richard Rodgers wrote two additional songs for the film by himself that weren't in the original play ('I Have Confidence' and 'Something Good').
- Some of the children went on to do some interesting things like Nicholas Hammond (Friedrich) went on to play Spiderman on the short-lived TV series (and the last time I saw him in something, he seemed to be working in Australian TV or film productions).
Heather Menzies (Louisa) went on to do movies like Ssssss! (she was in that one right? How many 'S's' are in that anyway? For some reason, I always think of that as a very sad movie. You keep hoping things will turn out okay for her character.) and Piranha. And she later married the late Robert Urich (well, she married him before he became the late Robert Urich.)
Angela Cartwright (Brigitta) went on to do the TV series 'Lost In Space'. (And I always get Angela Cartwright confused with Veronica Cartwright. I always wonder what, if any, relationship they might have to each other.)
Charmian Carr (Liesl) went on to a religious career. I can never remember if she became a nun or something else.
- Marni Nixon (Sister Sophia) finally got a meatier on-screen role after years of dubbing the singing of people like Deborah Kerr in 'The King And I' and 'An Affair To Remember', Audrey Hepburn in 'My Fair Lady', Natalie Wood in 'West Side Story' and 'Gypsy', and Margaret O'Brien in 'The Big City'. I always kick myself for not having bought her CD when I had the chance when I saw it at Tower Records. Well, maybe I still can......oh, wait.
- And speaking of dubbing, Christopher Plummer was dubbed by Bill Lee (which I think almost caused Mr. Plummer to back out once he found out he was going to be dubbed) and Peggy Wood (Mother Abbess) was dubbed by Margery McKay (though I've heard people say Marni Nixon, but it doesn't really sound like her. And I think Peggy Wood used to sing opera anyway, so I'm not sure why they needed to dub her, but oh well.)
- And posting Maureen O'Hara music elsewhere on the blog reminds me of the actress Anna Lee (Sister Margaretta) in 'How Green Was My Valley', 'Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?', and 'In Like Flint'. Once you see Anna Lee in a turban in that last film, you never quite forget her. Either turbans or habits. She likes to have her head encased I guess.
- It took a lot of effort to get the opening shot of the film and not have the wind from the helicopter blow Julie Andrews down on that mountain top.
- Julie Andrews' character's last name is Rainer.
- 'Edelweiss' was the last song Oscar Hammerstein wrote before he died.
- And weren't The Bill Baird Marionettes (used in 'The Lonely Goatherd' number) also in the movie, 'Lili'? I forget exactly, but I think they were.
Israeli Cast (1995) - 01 - The Sound of Music
Israeli Cast (1995) - 02 - Dixit Dominus
Israeli Cast (1995) - 03 - Maria (nuns)
Israeli Cast (1995) - 04 - My Favorite Things
Israeli Cast (1995) - 05 - Do Re Mi
Israeli Cast (1995) - 06 - Sixteen Going On Seventeen
Israeli Cast (1995) - 07 - The Lonely Goatherd
Israeli Cast (1995) - 08 - The Sound Of Music (Reprise)
Israeli Cast (1995) - 09 - So Long, Farewell
Israeli Cast (1995) - 10 - Climb Ev'ry Mountain
Israeli Cast (1995) - 11 - Edelweiss
Israeli Cast (1995) - 12 - Climb Ev'ry Mountain (Reprise)
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The Sound Of Music (a.k.a., T'zlili Hamuzika) (1995 Israeli Cast) (Rapidshare)
The Sound Of Music (a.k.a., T'zlili Hamuzika) (1995 Israeli Cast) (Megaupload)
around 28 MB
@ 128 Kbps
The Red Pony (1973 TV) / The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) (Jerry Goldsmith) [Bootleg]
And I think almost everything I just said you could've figured out by looking at the album cover, reading the track list, and looking at the post heading. Hmmm......it's a real toss-up as to whether I should've called the blog, 'Inferior Old Rips' or 'States The Obvious'. It goes back and forth from day to day, but I guess I'll keep the name the way it is.
Since it's a bootleg, there are no real track titles (unless the names Jerry came up with just happened to be 'Track' which would seem to be uncharacteristically unimaginative and repetitive on his part).
Well, anyway, if you look at one of the later posts you can probably tell why I decided to post this particular score. Although I guess a score to a nice family movie like this is appropriate for the season (and depending on your mood, I suppose, 'The Agony And The Ecstasy' might also apply).
And, while you're at it, it also might be fun to compare it to Aaron Copland's version of 'The Red Pony' from the 1949 film starring Myrna Loy & Robert Mitchum. I'm sure if you hunt around, it's probably been posted in multiple places by now. A good bet, if it's still available, is to check out Scoredaddy's marvelous Copland compilation. (There's another wonderful blog and blogger I haven't talked about yet on this blog. Well, I'm so behind on everything else, why should that be any different?)
And I just realized another good reason to post this was that it was once requested way back when by Stevo (though I'm guessing he doesn't come here anymore), but as you can tell, a request never fully dies out here. It just sleeps once in a while. (It's either that or the curse of a long memory, I'm not sure which).
Well, it was a good thing I was working on that other post, otherwise it would've never occurred to me to post this. I'd completely forgotten I had this! Well, I'm sure someone else has posted this by now, but I'm pretty sure redundant music is still good music.
......oh, and enjoy your Christmas pony!
01 - The Red Pony (1973 TV) - Track 01
02 - The Red Pony (1973 TV) - Track 02
03 - The Red Pony (1973 TV) - Track 03
04 - The Red Pony (1973 TV) - Track 04
05 - The Red Pony (1973 TV) - Track 05
06 - The Red Pony (1973 TV) - Track 06
07 - The Red Pony (1973 TV) - Track 07
08 - The Red Pony (1973 TV) - Track 08
09 - The Red Pony (1973 TV) - Track 09
10 - The Red Pony (1973 TV) - Track 10
11 - The Red Pony (1973 TV) - Track 11
12 - The Red Pony (1973 TV) - Track 12
13 - The Red Pony (1973 TV) - Track 13
14 - The Red Pony (1973 TV) - Track 14
15 - The Red Pony (1973 TV) - Track 15
16 - The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) - Prologue - Track 16
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The Red Pony (1973 TV) / The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) (Jerry Goldsmith) - Part 1 (Rapidshare) - 90 MB
The Red Pony (1973 TV) / The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) (Jerry Goldsmith) - Part 2 (Rapidshare) - 43 MB
The Red Pony (1973 TV) / The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) (Jerry Goldsmith) (Megaupload)
around 133 MB
@ 320 Kbps
Home Alone Christmas (1993) (Various Artists)
Home Alone Christmas (1993) - 01 - Darlene Love - All Alone On Christmas
Home Alone Christmas (1993) - 02 - Alan Jackson - A Holly Jolly Christmas
Home Alone Christmas (1993) - 03 - The Fox Albert Choir - My Christmas Tree
Home Alone Christmas (1993) - 04 - John Willi@ms - Somewhere In My Memory
Home Alone Christmas (1993) - 05 - Atlantic Starr - Silver Bells
Home Alone Christmas (1993) - 06 - TLC - Sleigh Ride
Home Alone Christmas (1993) - 07 - Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers - Christmas All Over Again
Home Alone Christmas (1993) - 08 - Southside Johnny Lyon - Please Come Home For Christmas
Home Alone Christmas (1993) - 09 - John Willi@ms - Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas
Home Alone Christmas (1993) - 10 - John Willi@ms - Carol Of The Bells
Home Alone Christmas (1993) - 11 - Mel Torme - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Home Alone Christmas (1993) - 12 - Lisa Fischer - O Come All Ye Faithful
password = youdont
Home Alone Christmas (1993) (Various Artists) (Rapidshare)
Home Alone Christmas (1993) (Various Artists) (Megaupload)
around 91 MB
@ 320 Kbps