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 Posted:   Apr 22, 2014 - 1:09 AM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

MARGIE is a delightful film, full of warm nostalgic moments representing (even then) a bygone era and a much simpler world.

I'd love to have a CD of this score, with its interpolations of so many songs of the period. Alas, that is perhaps a major problem.

It costs money to clear these songs from various outside (non-TCF) composers and publishers, and this can add a great deal to the slim budgets for a CD release of limited sales potential. Pair that with the reality that a lot of filmmusic fans today simply hate old musicals---even ones where the songs are part of the underscore---and essentially won't consider buying a CD of this sort.

Still I keep hoping that "Bruce Kritzerland"---the logical and probably ONLY one---might tackle some of these Fox musicals one day. There are so many we'd all like, I'm sure, and if you could hear more Betty Grable and Alice Faye and Alfred Newman and Charles Henderson in stereo, so much the better!

On another topic entirely, one of my old industry friends, Charles G. Clarke, shot MARGIE. Because he wanted to try some new things with the old 3-color Technicolor process, he staged several dramatic moments of the film in silhouette. Natalie Kalmus and the boys at Technicolor screamed about this, but it was already done, and when the film was released it got great acclaim for its lovely, but also in spots, daring, color photography. I also seem to remember that he said it wasn't supposed to snow in Reno during the location shooting there, but it did, and then they had a major matching problem from sequence to sequence! Ahhhh, the magic of the movies. But I think the snow helps the film.

The opening shot, where the camera is on the exterior of the Jeanne Crain home (on the backlot) and then slowly dollies toward the house and cranes to the upstairs attic window and then inside was very difficult to do in these days.

Since you can't control the outside light by reducing its power you must boost the inside light within the practical set which had been built into the attic. It required an enormous amount of brute arc-powered interior lighting to balance the outside daylight even with a slight camera exposure stop change at the moment of entry into the room. This kind of heavy-duty lighting is tremendously hot on the actors in costume and makeup, and will fry them if they must perform in a long scene without a break. It's really tough on everyone, but very effective if you can pull it off.

Even without a soundtrack CD, I'd recommend that everyone take a look at this charming, and now little-known film.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 22, 2014 - 10:33 PM   
 By:   philiperic   (Member)

Thank you, manderley, for such an insightful and informative post.

You mention its relative unfamiliarity -- has anyone figured out why it is one of the lesser known Fox hits from the 40s. I do not have the stats but I know that in 1946, it was very popular at the Box Ofice. And it must have been well liked by many Americans to have inspired a (short lived) TV series based on it.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 23, 2014 - 3:10 AM   
 By:   lionel59   (Member)

I also found your post fascinating manderly. Charles G. Clarke was a great cinematographer who shot some of my favorite Fox films.
Do you have any stories that you can remember from him regarding CAROUSEL, another Henry King movie? It was overlooked at the Oscars in 1956 but I think Clarke was worthy of an Oscar nomination for his work on this movie. I believe he was shooting with the old Grandeur cameras, somewhat modified. They were apparently so noisy that nearly all of the dialogue had to be looped by the cast. Certain location sequences had to be re-shot at the studio (eg. the 'If I Loved You' sequence) as the conditions were too foggy. I wonder what he thought of Sinatra's sudden departure.Clarke worked with Henry King on a number of occasions,so I'm guessing they enjoyed working together. Thanks for sharing anything you may be able to recall.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 23, 2014 - 3:10 AM   
 By:   lionel59   (Member)

I also found your post fascinating manderly. Charles G. Clarke was a great cinematographer who shot some of my favorite Fox films.
Do you have any stories that you can remember from him regarding CAROUSEL, another Henry King movie? It was overlooked at the Oscars in 1956 but I think Clarke was worthy of an Oscar nomination for his work on this movie. I believe he was shooting with the old Grandeur cameras, somewhat modified. They were apparently so noisy that nearly all of the dialogue had to be looped by the cast. Certain location sequences had to be re-shot at the studio (eg. the 'If I Loved You' sequence) as the conditions were too foggy. I wonder what he thought of Sinatra's sudden departure.Clarke worked with Henry King on a number of occasions,so I'm guessing they enjoyed working together. Thanks for sharing anything you may be able to recall.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 23, 2014 - 3:21 AM   
 By:   lionel59   (Member)

Despite the fact that all prints of MARGIE are now taken from Eastman negatives made from the original 3-strip Technicolor negatives (which were then tragically junked), the print aired on the Fox Movie Channel looks surprisingly strong with color that appears to be pretty close to the original Technicolor. I have certainly seen much worse from the Fox catalogue of this era. If Fox Cinema Archives manufactured a disc from this master, I would have no complaints.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 23, 2014 - 11:54 PM   
 By:   philiperic   (Member)

Despite the fact that all prints of MARGIE are now taken from Eastman negatives made from the original 3-strip Technicolor negatives (which were then tragically junked), the print aired on the Fox Movie Channel looks surprisingly strong with color that appears to be pretty close to the original Technicolor. I have certainly seen much worse from the Fox catalogue of this era. If Fox Cinema Archives manufactured a disc from this master, I would have no complaints.

I doubt that Fox Cinema Archives would have the acumen to obtain the best print availalble of MARGIE. Even though it is on FMC doesn't guarantee that it will be used by FCA - many examples of this are in their releases.
Especially grievous is their continual botch of almost all their widescreen features - witness the recent SODOM AND GOMMORRAH .

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 23, 2014 - 11:59 PM   
 By:   philiperic   (Member)

dp

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 26, 2014 - 4:47 AM   
 By:   philiperic   (Member)

One of the standout performances in MARGIE is Johnniekins by Conrad Janis - the handsome 20s bearcat wearing "dreamboat" that Margie McDuff has a major crush on . Mr. Janis did not do many films , surprizingly, only a dozen or so - but his TV credits are long and impressive .

Probably best remebered by fans for a long running role as Mindy's father on MORK AND MINDY , he is also a jazz musician - trombone player, too. Still with us at 86, he is a lifetime member of the Actor's Studio.

Too bad some of these folks could not be interviewed for a dvd/BR on their memories - rare to have so many still with us from a nearly 70 yr old film - Alan Young, Ann Todd, Conrad Janis...

 
 Posted:   Apr 26, 2014 - 3:15 PM   
 By:   gsteven   (Member)

This topic makes me think of the 40s movies with Newman scores that I have yet to see (or hear): CLAUDIA, THE PIED PIPER, CLAUDIA AND DAVID....maybe, one day?

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 26, 2014 - 3:39 PM   
 By:   philiperic   (Member)

This topic makes me think of the 40s movies with Newman scores that I have yet to see (or hear): CLAUDIA, THE PIED PIPER, CLAUDIA AND DAVID....maybe, one day?

I think that there is great market still for Maestro Alfred Newman and his music and more. So much remains unreleased in the Fox vaults....

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 26, 2014 - 9:30 PM   
 By:   PFK   (Member)


I would buy any Alfred Newman CD in a heartbeat.

I'm surprised we have not seen Nevada Smith yet.

If Bruce does a few more Fox Director Boxes, like the Preminger, then I would think we would see more Alfred Newman.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 26, 2014 - 10:08 PM   
 By:   jkannry   (Member)

One of the standout performances in MARGIE is Johnniekins by Conrad Janis - the handsome 20s bearcat wearing "dreamboat" that Margie McDuff has a major crush on . Mr. Janis did not do many films , surprizingly, only a dozen or so - but his TV credits are long and impressive .

Probably best remebered by fans for a long running role as Mindy's father on MORK AND MINDY , he is also a jazz musician - trombone player, too. Still with us at 86, he is a lifetime member of the Actor's Studio.

Too bad some of these folks could not be interviewed for a dvd/BR on their memories - rare to have so many still with us from a nearly 70 yr old film - Alan Young, Ann Todd, Conrad Janis...

Not sure Alan young is well. See his cameo in remade time machine

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 27, 2014 - 2:05 AM   
 By:   philiperic   (Member)

you may be right --- wishful thinking perhaps -

I do know that at some point during the 80s there was an actual reunion by most the cast including Jeanne Crain - in LA I believe - so the film resonated with them too. It would be great if someone has some footage from that to share --

 
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