It is currently Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:19 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 38 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:52 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:52 pm
Location: Canada
domino harvey wrote:
I think Tracy is a remarkably bad actor, but he's also a strong and charismatic personality who carries his films on the weight of his image and presence (see: Gary Cooper).
I also wouldn't call him a bad actor, but certainly unremarkable and his overblown status has always puzzled me. Cooper, on the other hand, is frequently bad.


Top
 Profile  
 

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:15 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:01 pm
Location: Stretford, Manchester
I love Fury, one of Lang's best, and completely forgot that it is Tracy in the lead. So I have seen him in that but nothing else.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:40 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:38 am
Tracy was great in 20,000 Years in Sing Sing, Man's Castle, Fury, Edison, the Man, Broken Lance, was a highly underrated Jekyll/Hyde, had fantastic chemistry with Clark Gable, and both Adam's Rib and Father of the Bride are strong comic performances. He's the best thing in Raoul Walsh's over-rated Me and My Gal. Not a method actor, obviously, but he had a vivid, congenial, peculiar personality that made his films in the '30s and '40s pop.

Just leaning back to save his reputation from cf.org... although I will concede that when he played characters with accents (Tortilla Flat, Captains Courageous), the results are embarrassing (although no worse than Paul Muni's or anyone else's attempts in that period).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:31 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:22 am
Location: Atlanta-ish
While it's no masterpiece, Woman of the Year was fun enough until the final act. It lost me when Tess's father is getting married and she finally *really* listens to the pastor's words this time. I realize the 1940s were a less enlightened time, but the natural narrative arc for this film is for Sam to accept his role as handsome second-fiddle. The film tries really hard near the end to make Tess unlikable, but as a highly-educated polyglot in touch with so many movers, shakers, and dissidents; and as someone who allegedly writes so well about them, she deserves to be woman of the year. To put it another way: Sam can't do what she does, while she could probably figure out the sports he covers if she saw them as being important. What Sam can do is cook eggs and waffles (at least, I assume he can cook the latter; he does have a waffle-maker in his apartment, after all). Tracy plays this well in the film's first 2/3, with a bemused expression, so when he reasserts his masculine prerogative in the final third, both Sam and the film come across as a mean-spirited macho power play.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:41 am 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:28 pm
Location: Greenwich Village
Beaver....I'm not really into this film but it looks like an all around terrific package.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Who's on first?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:07 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:26 am
Location: East of Shanghai
Just randomly rewatched this for the first time in a long while. Didn't even know this got a wacky C until I looked for a thread on it here. I liked Hepburn's energy and outfits. Though her hair was a bit distracting at times. Never much of a Tracy fan, and most of the film I wondered why she couldn't find some charming European gentleman, since she seems to speak every language, or high-powered DC politician type. I thought the film was middling and overplayed its hand most everywhere (such as the party at her apartment where no one speaks English). And the ending was unfunny and poorly conceived. Then again a lot of the humor off them trying to be alone is rather strained and prolonged as well. What was the original/intended ending?

Anyway, I actually popped in just to mention a minor anomaly. In the film, Sam takes Tess to a ball game, Yankees v. Athletics (Philly in those days). But in the trailer, they use a different take of Sam explaining the outs, and he mentions that it's the Washington Senators v. the Yanks. Not a big deal, but I noticed as I watched the trailer right after the film, and the mismatch stood out. I'm guessing the Criterion trailer also has that discrepancy(?) Basically I found the vintage baseball and football footage the most interesting part of the film. I also liked William Bendix in a minor part as the nostalgic prize fighter turned barkeep. But mostly I had trouble engaging with the film.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Who's on first?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:35 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm
Lemmy Caution wrote:
Never much of a Tracy fan, and most of the film I wondered why she couldn't find some charming European gentleman, since she seems to speak every language, or high-powered DC politician type.
I believe that the main part of the appeal of the Hepburn-Tracy cycle, for many who do appreciate them, was the mismatch. It's interesting and appealing to see a childless*, mature couple who are still sparring with each other and working out their lives together and their personal terms within the couple, but never causing the audience to root against them staying together. A European gentleman or DC politician type would have only been the "Baxter," so to speak, in another version of this or other Hepburn-Tracy pairings.
*Excepting of course their final pairing, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, it's interesting how they're consistently a couple without children in the picture in the rest of what's arguably the real Hepburn-Tracy cycle ending with Desk Set.
Quote:
What was the original/intended ending?
It's lost, but by accounts I've read, the film was meant to end with Tess holding onto her principles but realizing that she needs to take a more active interest in her husband's life and career. So the film ends with the two of them at a baseball game, where she matches Sam's cheers (or "outcheers" him). Sounds like many other romantic comedy resolutions of the prewar era, and hardly a feminist firebrand ending that should've had to be ditched and replaced at the last minute, in the process arguably sabotaging the rest of the story and character as originally conceived when the film was written and produced.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:41 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:28 pm
Location: Greenwich Village
I have to agree with Domino. I love Hepburn. She's done some great works, but her pairing with Tracy I can do without.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Who's on first?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:18 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:26 am
Location: East of Shanghai
Gregory wrote:
I believe that the main part of the appeal of the Hepburn-Tracy cycle, for many who do appreciate them, was the mismatch.

The mismatch is rather exaggerated in WotY, where Hepburn is considered the 2nd most famous woman in America, asked to launch battleships, give speeches, telephones foreign leaders, heads refugee committees, speaks a dozen foreign languages -- despite being just a political reporter. Tracy is supposed to be a Regular Joe, a sports reporter who hangs out in bars and ballparks, yet is tops in his field. And it's these kind of exaggerated characterizations that make the film feel like a stagey exercise and not about actual people. I guess screenwriter Ring Lardner Jr actually witnessed his sports writer father hobnob with the wealthy and famous, but it still rings false in the film.

Yet the film won the Oscar for Best Screenplay, so what do I know?
I guess times and expectations have changed. It's like in the film, you need to recall that Hepburn wearing pants is still a statement for the times, just as you have to remember that the Athletics play in Philadelphia.
I do like the scene where after they first meet, Hepburn realizes Tracy is following behind her after they leave the publisher's office. So she starts going up the stairs, but merely stops/hides on the 2nd step and lights a cigarette so Tracy stumbles upon her. And having gained the advantage, she presses it and flummoxes Tracy.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:44 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:26 am
Location: East of Shanghai
According to wiki (citing Ring Lardner Jr):
Quote:
The film was originally shot with a different ending, but it proved unpopular at test screenings. The decision was made to change it, and the final fifteen minutes of the film were re-written and shot.

The original ending of the film saw Sam go missing (after he had left the child at the orphanage) while he was meant to be writing an article about an upcoming boxing match. Tess decides to take over for him, and visits the gym to learn about the fight. Sam is found in a language school trying to learn French and Spanish, to "be important", and is shocked when he sees the article. He goes to the fight where he meets Tess. She insists that she did it to be a "good wife," and says she will change and do everything expected of her. He says that he doesn't want either extreme; he just wants her to be "Tess Harding Craig" (the same as in the released ending.)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:11 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:13 pm
Svet of the Year


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:47 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm
Svet wrote:
It is worth mentioning that despite the brilliant performances the film has had a fair share of outspoken detractors. A popular 'flaw' that is frequently brought up by folks that dislike it is the supposedly forced transformation of Hepburn's reporter, which apparently sends a dangerous message that targets equally strong and driven professional women. Opinions of course will always vary, but the film actually sides with the reporter until eventually she has to decide how to rearrange her priorities in life. She has the freedom to choose, and at the end it is precisely what she does.
Yeah, the Tess character has the freedom to choose the actions and lines of dialogue forced upon her by the revamped ending after the ending intended by the screenwriters was thrown in the trash for being politically incorrect to viewers who couldn't handle seeing a film about an accomplished career woman unless she gets a comeuppance in the end, suffering a humiliating defeat at being "comically"* unable to prepare a simple breakfast. Anyone who dislikes that mandated ending must really be opposed to a character's "freedom of choice."
*To me, it seemed like the scene in question fell back on silent-film-era comedy material while managing to be about zero percent as funny. Politics aside, if the rewritten ending had actually worked in the film, I'd be completely willing to credit it for that.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:23 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:58 am
Location: Chicago, IL
This was on TCM a few months back and I just got around to watching it, and I see that not many here liked it much more than I did. This is a pretty awful film, but what really annoyed me the most is that it doesn't even try to live up to its premise. For example, Sam doesn't just resent Tess's work life, he seems to be constantly surprised that she's constantly busy. But he's in the exact same line of work and knew what she was all about even before they ever met.

I just felt like nothing here made a lick of sense on its own terms. Their occupations don't make sense. The sexual politics don't make sense. It doesn't even make sense that Tess would be attracted to him, much less pursue him, since his only personality trait aside from sitting around pouting a bunch is to act like an asshole towards the foreigners that she's completely at ease with.

I dunno. I know better than to expect to like a movie just because it's been given a wacky C, of course, but still I expected more.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 38 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group




This site is not affiliated with The Criterion Collection